Currently, there is a measles outbreak in the United States. In December 2014, someone infected with measles visited the Disneyland amusement park in California and spread measles to others. This has led to a higher number of cases than usual, among both children and adults. As of February 3, there are 102 reported cases in 14 states.
Read on to learn about measles and how to keep your family safe.
What is measles? Measles is a disease caused by a virus. Measles usually starts with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. After a few days, a red rash may appear on the face and spread to the rest of the body. In young children, measles can be serious and lead to complications, like pneumonia or even be fatal.
How does it spread? Measles is very contagious. It spreads through the air when someone who is infected sneezes or coughs.
Why is the outbreak unusual? Measles is more common in some parts of the world, but it is rare in the United States. This is because most Americans have gotten the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine, which protects them.
How can I keep my family safe? You can protect your child against measles by getting them vaccinated at a doctor’s office or clinic. Your child should get the first dose of MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old. They should get the second dose when they are 4 to 6 years old. Ask your pediatrician if you have any questions about the vaccine.
Click here for more information about measles from the Centers for Disease Control.