Information about Measles

Information about Measles
Posted on 01/31/2019

January 29, 2019

Dear Parent or Guardian:

A large measles outbreak is happening in Clark County, in southwest Washington. Additionally, King County just confirmed a measles case. So far there are no reports of measles in Island County.

Measles is a serious disease that can cause brain, spinal cord and lung infections and death. Measles is very contagious even before a rash appears. It spreads easily through the air and can stay in the air 2 hours after an infected person leaves an area.

Two shots of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can prevent measles almost 100% of the time. All it takes is 1 shot at 12 to 15 months of age and a second shot at 4 to 6 years of age. People not vaccinated on schedule can get 1 shot now and a second shot 1 month later.

Some children can’t get the measles vaccine for medical reasons. Some children don’t get the measles vaccine for personal or religious reasons. If a case of measles occurs in school or an outbreak occurs in the community, children who do not meet school MMR vaccination requirements can’t go to school until the disease is under control.

The measles vaccine is safe and effective. We recommend your whole family be vaccinated. Contact your healthcare provider or local pharmacy.

For more information about measles or other vaccine-preventable diseases, visit https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Measles or call Island County Public Health

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