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Offered by: Mackenzie Reshew, CPNP – Brighton Pediatrics, P.C.

Recently, you may have seen news articles reporting increased cases and outbreaks of measles in the United States. Many parents may wonder what measles is and what can be done to protect their child from measles. Measles is a highly contagious viral illness, and infection typically starts with fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a sore throat. A red rash will then develop, usually starting on the head and spreading down the body. There is also a risk of complications with the measles, including the need for hospitalization, ear infections, pneumonia, swelling of the brain and sadly, death in some cases. Complications are more common in the younger population, pregnant women and in people with a weakened immune system.

The good news is that measles can be easily prevented through vaccination. The measles vaccine is a 2 dose vaccine series, which is typically started at 1 year of age. By vaccinating your children, you not only protect them, but also help protect the community. The more people who are vaccinated against measles, the harder it is for the measles virus to spread through a community. This helps protect people who cannot receive the vaccine such as young babies. Additionally, measles is more prominent in some other countries. If you are planning to travel out of the United States, it is a good idea to speak with your primary care provider first as additional or early vaccines may be needed.

Please contact your child’s primary care provider if you have any concerns your child may have the measles or may have been exposed to the measles, or with questions related to vaccines or travel.

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