How can we protect ourselves from Measles outbreak?In Oakland County (a suburb of Detroit), there are 39 confirmed cases of the measles. That is the highest case count in Michigan since 1991. It may not seem like a lot, but for this disease it is! The outbreak started in mid-March due to a person traveling who had the illness (of course patient 0 did not know that they were infected).

Lynn Sutfin, public information officer for the state health department told the Oakland Press that...

While measles is a highly contagious virus, Sutfin said exposure sites are not required to follow any special guidelines, as the virus lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It spreads to others through coughing and sneezing. The virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed.

I started to worry, as an adult who was vaccinated as a child, do I need a Measles Boaster Shot to protect myself and others? I checked out CDC.gov to find the answer...

No. CDC considers people who received two doses of measles vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule protected for life, and they do not ever need a booster dose.

Adults need at least one dose of measles vaccine, unless they have evidence of immunity. Adults who are going to be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles transmission should make sure they have had two doses separated by at least 28 days. These adults include students at post-high school education institutions, healthcare personnel, and international travelers.

Many people are not sure if they were vaccinated or not, so here is what you can do.

You can just go and get a boaster shot of the measles vaccine because the good news is that if you are not sure if you had the MR Vaccine (measles vaccine) there is no harm in getting another dose of MMR vaccine if you may already be immune to measles (or mumps or rubella). The other option is that you can have your doctor do a blood draw to determine if you are immune or not, but that would take two trips to the doctors office. You can decide what's best for you.

Things you need to know about Measles...

  1.  Measles is highly contagious.
  2. The acute stage of the disease lasts about five to six days.
  3. Measles can result in serious complications.
  4. People with measles can spread the disease before they feel sick.
  5. Measles vaccine is between 97 and 93 percent effective.
  6. If you’ve been exposed, the vaccine will work if given within 72 hours.
  7. If you think you have measles, call before heading to your doctor’s office or an emergency room.

Stay healthy and make sure you take care of yourself and your family!