Thanks to the measles vaccine developed in the 1960s, measles cases became extremely rare. However, there have been small outbreaks since then. Measles is a dangerous and highly contagious disease, so it is important to understand how you can protect your family
What is measles?
Measles causes a rash all over the body. It is highly contagious and spreads through the air. Young children are particularly at risk for severe symptoms from measles. The most common symptoms are:
Often, other symptoms develop before a rash. Coughing and sneezing releases the virus into the air where it can live for up to two hours. This makes it very easy for the virus to be passed from person to person.
How to Protect Your Family
Those who have not received the vaccine are very vulnerable to the virus. The best thing you can do to ensure that your family stays healthy, is to make sure that each member receives the vaccine. The vaccine is given in two parts – typically the first dose is given when a child is one year old, and then the second dose is given later. The vaccine also protects against mumps and rubella.
Often, your child’s school will want to see record of your child receiving the vaccine to ensure that your child is not in danger of getting measles or spreading it to other children.
If your child is over one year old and has not received the vaccine, schedule an appointment with the child’s pediatrician as soon as possible, so that your child will be protected.
Vaccinations are very safe for your child. Vaccinations must pass many tests before they can be given to patients. The measles vaccine is the best way to prevent your child and those around your child from getting measles.
What should you do if your child has measles?
If your child is experiencing measles symptoms, call your doctor’s
office and follow their instructions. They will likely arrange for your child to have an isolated room in order to avoid spreading the virus to others.
Bring your child in to see a doctor as soon as possible. This will help ensure that your child does not spread the virus and that your child receives the care he or she needs.
Do your best to be proactive and protect your family by ensuring that your children receive the measles vaccine at the recommended age.