Measles: Cases on the rise

March 1, 2017

Measles is making a comeback—even though there's a vaccine that can help prevent it.iStock-477811328.jpg

Doctors thought they'd mostly wiped out measles in this country in 2000. But there have been outbreaks here since then. Here's why:

  • Most people who get measles aren't vaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in other countries.
  • When unvaccinated people from the U.S. travel to other countries, they can get measles. And when they return, they can spread the disease.

Know the symptoms

Measles starts with a fever, a cough, a runny nose and red eyes. Next, a rash of red spots breaks out all over the body.

Kids with measles may also get an ear infection. Or they may have diarrhea.

Measles is highly contagious, and it can be serious. It can cause pneumonia and swelling of the brain. Some kids even die from measles.

Protect your child

Are you a parent? Then be sure your child's measles vaccine is up-to-date.

It's safe and effective. And it's a combination vaccine. It protects against measles, mumps, and German measles.

Kids need two doses of this vaccine. Here's a typical timing:

  • First dose: 12 to 15 months of age.
  • Second dose: 4 to 6 years of age.

Adults may also need a vaccine. Ask your doctor if you should get one.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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