What is Measles?
Measles is an extremely contagious, infectious disease caused by the measles virus and can be serious, especially for young children. The measles virus travels through the air; you can get measles if you go near someone who has the virus because the virus stays in the air of a room where a person with measles has been. Measles symptoms typically develop 7-21 days after exposure; measles is contagious approximately 4 days before the rash appears through 4 days after the rash appears.
How to Prevent Measles
The MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine is safe and effective. If your children have received this vaccination, there is very little to worry about. Immunized children can play, go to school, participate in events and even visit a doctor’s office during an outbreak because the vaccine is so effective.
If you have deferred or declined the measles vaccine in the past, please reconsider this option. Our recommendation is to vaccinate children following these guidelines:
First Dose: 12-15 months of age
Second Dose: 4-6 years of age
Adults might also need the MMR vaccine – we recommend discussing adult care with your adult Primary Care Provider.
For more information
While there is no shortage of information floating around the internet relating to the current measles outbreak, we like the following sources of information. We encourage you to look at the following links, and call our office if you have specific questions.
- Seattle Children’s – Seattle Mama Doc Blog article relating to the current measles outbreak
- HealthyChildren.org – MMR Vaccine: What You Need to Know
- Washington State Department of Health – Measles in Washington webpage