Parents are expressing their concern about measles, especially since kids are headed back to school. According to the CDC, from January 1 to July 25, 2019, 1,164 individual cases of measles were confirmed in 30 states, including Georgia. This is the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992. Therefore, the concerns are valid if preventive measures have not been taken. Read more.
Protecting Children From Measles
While there have been cases of measles reported in Georgia, you should only be concerned if your children have not been fully vaccinated. Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Learn more.
Post Highschool Students at Educational Institutions
Students who do not have presumptive evidence of immunity* should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine separated by 28 days.
Protecting the Adults
Most adults who do not have presumptive evidence of immunity* should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. However, adults who will be in certain settings that pose higher risks, may need two doses. Read more.
*What is Evidence of Immunity
Verbal reports of vaccination or previous infection (resulting in immunity) without written documentation or lab results are not considered evidence of immunity. Presumptive evidence would be:
- written documentation of adequate vaccination:
- laboratory evidence of immunity
- laboratory confirmation of measles
- birth before 1957
Exposure and Symptoms – What You Should Do
If you or your child have been exposed to measles, and have not been vaccinated, contact your primary care physician, pediatrician, or the local health department immediately, and ask for a vaccination. Vaccinations may still prevent infection if given on time (within 3 days of exposure), according to the Georgia Department Of Public Health.
Advanced Urgent Care & Aesthetics can test for measles, and if the tests are positive, a report will be filed with the health department right away. The tests require collection and testing of blood, urine and/or throat samples. Results are most accurate if testing occurs at the beginning stages of the disease.
Be Safe Rather Than Sorry!
If not treated properly, measles can cause secondary and life threatening infections such as pneumonia, so get seen by a healthcare professional immediately. Treatment for measles normally includes fever reducers NOT ASPIRIN**, lots of fluids and plenty of rest. Certain vitamins are sometimes recommended. If a secondary infection develops, an antibiotic may be required in addition to further treatment and close monitoring.
If you or your child have been exposed and are at risk, please stay away from public places (school, work, etc.) as much as possible to avoid spreading the disease, until you have been tested and cleared by an appropriate healthcare provider.
**Why not aspirin? According to the Mayo Clinic, aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in children recovering from certain illnesses. Learn more.