Measles outbreaks are occurring in the United States. Between January 1 and April 26, 2019, 704 cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. These current outbreaks are related to international travel by unvaccinated individuals. Two cases have been confirmed in Northeastern Iowa, both individuals were unvaccinated.
Symptoms of measles often include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Red, watery eyes
- Fever (higher than 101o F)
- Rash – flat, red areas all over the body, with raised bumps (usually starts at the head and spreads down the body)
- Small spots with white or bluish-white centers on the inside of the cheek
Measles is highly contagious, and can have serious complications. The MMR vaccine is proven to be safe and very effective.
- Children need two doses of MMR vaccine. One dose at 12-15 months of age and a second dose at 4-6 years of age.
- Adults born before 1957 probably had measles as children and are considered to be immune.
- Adults born between 1957 and 1989 likely had one dose of MMR vaccine. Adults who will be traveling internationally where measles outbreaks are ongoing should contact their provider to get a second dose of MMR vaccine for added protection.
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