People sick with measles continues to increase
A recent outbreak of 141 people with measles in the United States traced to Disneyland shows that it’s a small world after all, and local health officials are encouraging families to make sure they are current on all recommended vaccinations, especially before any spring break trips.
“The current multi-state outbreak of measles in the U.S. illustrates the highly contagious nature of the disease and its potential to spread rapidly among unvaccinated people. Given the frequently serious nature of the disease, we recommend universal vaccination against measles,” said Dr. Jeff Moore, Marshfield Clinic family physician and medical advisor to the Lincoln County Health Department. “MMR vaccine is safe and well-tolerated, and is the best protection we have against measles.”
Measles is a serious lung disease that is easily spread. A person with measles can spread the disease even before they know they have it. A person can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even after that person is gone. Anyone who is not protected against the disease is at risk, especially if they travel internationally.
The large number of people with measles this year stresses the importance of vaccination. Timely vaccination is the best way to prevent measles. Most children do receive their first dose of MMR on time. The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) shot is recommended for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1957.
• Children aged 12 months through 4 years should have 1 dose of MMR vaccine.
• Children 4-5 years through 18 years should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine.
• Adults born during or after 1957 should have 1 dose of MMR vaccine. College students, persons who will be traveling outside the U.S and healthcare workers should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine or blood work that shows immunity.
• Adults born before 1957 are considered protected given the likelihood of previous natural infection and no shot is needed.
• Healthcare workers born before 1957 should receive 2 doses of MMR or have blood work that shows immunity.
The Lincoln County Health Department is able to offer the MMR vaccine to those who have no health insurance, health insurance but no vaccine coverage, children on Medicaid/Badgercare, children who are American Indians or Alaskan Natives, cost is $10; appointments are needed. Call your health care provider or the Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307 to see if you need this vaccine.
To find more information about vaccine preventable diseases visit http://lincolncountyhealthdepartment.com/; you can also find the Lincoln County Health Department on Facebook.