As you have heard in the news, there has been an increase in the number of cases of measles in the United States this past year. Nearly 75% of them are linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in California. Sadly, this outbreak, along with the recent increases in the cases of whooping cough and mumps, is related to fewer persons being immunized. This lowers the immunity of a group of people and leads to outbreaks such as what is being seen. None of the doctors at Hilliard Pediatrics has seen a case of the measles. We hope it stays that way!
People who have received two doses of the vaccine of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine are very well protected. The majority of the people that have been infected in the recent outbreak have not received both doses. Of the more than 100 California residents infected, only 6% had received both doses!
Like many other illnesses, the signs and symptoms of measles are common ones. It is the exact symptoms that help us decide when a patient has measles. Eight to 14 days after exposure a fever, cough, cold, and spots in the inside cheeks of the mouth (Koplik spots) occur. A rash begins on the face and head and spreads downward, becoming widespread and obvious on the legs and buttocks on the third day of the illness. Common serious complications are encephalitis and pneumonia.
It appears this recent outbreak is winding down. As always, we recommend you have your children vaccinated at 1 year of age and 5 years of age. This two-shot series safely provides excellent protection against measles, mumps, and rubella.