Are you immune to measles? The Midland Health and Senior Services Division has a few tips to help you find out.
Public risk of contracting measles is low, except for those who are not vaccinated or are not old enough to have been exposed to measles as a child. Those who have not been vaccinated or are not sure if they are immune should ask a health care professional for assistance in determining whether they are at risk of contracting measles.
Measles is highly contagious and can cause severe illness with rash, fever, cough, and eye irritation. It can also be fatal in rare instances. Measles is highly contagious even before a rash appears and can be spread when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes.
All individuals born before 1957 are presumed to have had measles and are immune. Any individuals who are not vaccinated or are unsure if they are immune and develop an illness with fever or unexplained rash should consult a health care professional immediately. It is very important for someone who suspects he or she has contracted measles to call ahead to the clinic, doctor’s office, or emergency room before arriving to avoid coming into contact with others already in the waiting room. Anyone not immune can be exposed to measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been within the past couple of hours.
Children should be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, with the first dose between the ages of 12 and 15 months and the second between the ages of four and six years. Adults should have at least one measles vaccination; some individuals need two. Vaccinating within 72 hours after exposure provides permanent protection and may prevent disease.
For more information, please call Midland Health and Senior Services, which offers the vaccine, at 432-681-7613.###
Media Contact: Health Manager Celestino "Sal" Garcia