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August 07, 2019

Six Things Every Parent Should Know About the Measles

Sophia L. Thomas DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP

Cases of measles have now been reported in 30 states. Ironically, measles was declared eliminated in 2000, but the uber-contagious disease has made a comeback in pockets where opting out of the MMR vaccine has been trending among parents. As measles makes its way to your state, here are six things every parent should know:

  1. A vaccination is the best way to prevent measles when exposed to the virus. 
  2. Measles is serious. One in five people who get it will be hospitalized, one in 20 will develop pneumonia, and one in 1,000 will die.
  3. Measles is especially dangerous for babies, young children, pregnant women and those with a compromised immune system.
  4. Every child needs two doses of the vaccine – one at a year and one between the ages of four and six.
  5. Measles is so contagious that one child will infect nine out of 10 unvaccinated people around them.
  6. Most people spread measles before they know they have it. Cold-like symptoms appear first, followed by the telltale rash.

Measles is serious, but it’s preventable. If your child is not up to date on their vaccinations, call your provider. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective, and your child needs it now more than ever!