Measles Update

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The Westport Weston Health District has been keeping a close watch on all outbreak news (in and outside our state) and has been advising vaccinations for prevention. Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world. A yearly estimate of 10 million people are infected with measles with about 110,000 of those infected resulting in death. In the United States (U.S.), most of the measles cases result from international travel. The disease is brought into the U.S. by those unvaccinated people who get infected in other countries.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of those infected. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. The time frame those infected can spread measles to others starts at about four days prior through four days after the classic rash appearance. Those who think they have been exposed to or have measles are advised to contact their health care provider and avoid contact with others to prevent transmission.

Measles is a virus that can cause symptoms including fever, cough, rhinitis (runny nose), and watery eyes with redness, and a body covering rash. Measles can lead to other medical concerns including ear infections, diarrhea, and lung infections, as well as in rare cases brain damage and death. The best protection against measles is to be vaccinated with the MMR, which is a vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children get two doses of MMR starting with the first dose at age 12 months to 15 months and a second dose to be administered at age 4 to 6 years old. The MMR vaccine is reported to be effective in preventing measles by 93% with one dose and 97% effective after a second dose.

If you do not think you have ever received the MMR vaccine, contact your healthcare provider for immunizations or blood testing as soon as possible. The CDC recommendations are for teens and adults to be up to date on MMR vaccines. When an infant is traveling outside of the United States between the ages of 6 to 11months, a MMR dose is advised prior to traveling. The Westport Weston Health District can be contacted for questions as well as to schedule vaccinations at our clinic at 203-227-9571. You may also visit the links below to answer questions about measles, vaccinations, and recent state updates.

For more information about measles, please visit www.cdc.gov/measles.

More information on annual statistics for vaccine preventable diseases in Connecticut is available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Immunizations/Case-Occurrence-of-Selected-Diseases-Connecticut
Other helpful links:

State of Connecticut press release
CDC Measles Vaccination information
CDC Measles Travel Information