Measles on the rise There were 839 cases of measles reported in the United States between January 1, 2019 and May 10, 2019.
In California, 44 measles cases had been reported by May 8.
Why on the rise? One reason is that many adults have not been vaccinated. And many parents decided not to have their children vaccinated. Some came down with the illness and spread the measles to others.
Dangerous! Measles is a dangerous disease.
Contagious! Measles is extremely contagious. It is very easy for people to catch the measles.
Not vaccinated? If you and your child are in a room where a person with measles coughed, you can easily catch measles if you’re not vaccinated!
Common symptoms Measles causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.
Complications of measles Some people get ear infections or diarrhea.
Severe complications Some people suffer from pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. Others suffer from encephalitis, which is swelling of the brain. This often causes permanent brain damage.
Death People with severe complications may need to be hospitalized and some die.
People at greatest risk People at high risk for severe illness and complications are:
• Infants and children under the age of 5 years
• Adults over the age of 20
• Pregnant women
• People with weak immune systems, such as people with leukemia or HIV infection
Measles during pregnancy A woman with the measles can pass the infection to her unborn baby. Her measles can lead to premature labor, prematurity, stillbirth, spontaneous abortion and even infant death.
Children One out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia. When children die from the measles, the most common cause is pneumonia.
What can you do? Get vaccinated if you aren’t already. Make sure your children are vaccinated!
Talk to your doctor Your doctor will tell you whether you or your child needs the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) shot.
Are shots safe? Yes, shots are safe!
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Are you on WIC? WIC educators can talk to you about shots for your children and for yourself. They can talk to you about visiting the doctor and any concerns you may have.