Measles Outbreaks in the USA

The CDC has reported an outbreak of measles in the U.S., currently involving eleven states including Illinois and Minnesota. Measles is the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses. It is a serious infection that causes fever, cough, a rash, sore eyes, and occasionally dangerous complications. Measles spreads very easily to and from unimmunized children. Two doses of MMR vaccine are the best way to protect against measles. As part of the childhood immunization program the first dose of vaccine is required between 12-15 months and the second dose before entering school, at 4-6 years.

Check your child's immunization records to make sure he/she has received two doses of MMR vaccine. Children who are exposed to measles and are not vaccinated against measles or only have one dose of MMR, will not be able to come to school for two weeks. If you believe that your child needs the MMR vaccine, please call your health care provider or local health department. The best way to protect your child is to ensure they have had two doses of MMR.

If your child does develop a rash with a fever, they should not attend school and you should call your health care provider. Please tell the clinic you suspect your child may have measles. It is important to call the clinic or hospital before taking your child in.

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