1. Has my child been vaccinated?
The first dose of MMR is given at 12 months and the second dose is given at the 4 or 5 year visit. Unless you have missed appointments or declined recommended vaccines, your child should be up to date! You can verify your child’s vaccines on MyChart (https://mychart.luriechildrens.org/MyChart/).
2. How effective is the MMR vaccine?
1 dose of MMR gives 93% protection against measles and 2 doses raises that to 97% protection! Titers are not routinely recommended to check for protection.
3. Can my child get the MMR vaccine before 12 months? Does my child need a booster vaccine if he’s already had 2 doses?
The MMR vaccine is approved for infants 6 months and older. Infants 6-12 months should get an early MMR vaccine if traveling to areas with high levels of measles (Europe has been struggling with worse outbreaks than the United States). Currently, there are no recommendations from the CDC or IDPH to routinely immunize infants starting at 6 months. Any infant who receives the vaccine before 12 months will still need two doses on the regular schedule. If your child is up to date on vaccines no booster is needed.
4. What are the symptoms of measles?
Measles is a virus that causes fever and rash. The rash of measles starts at the face and spreads down the body. People with measles may start with cough and runny nose but soon develop high fevers, red/watery eyes, and overall look sick. The rash typically starts 14 days after exposure to the virus.
See some photos here: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/photos.html
5. How contagious is the measles?
Very! The measles virus is spread through the air (coughing, sneezing) and can stay in the air for 2 hours after an infected person leaves that space. It is so contagious that 90% of susceptible people will come down with the infection.
6. What should I do if I think my child has the measles?
Unless your child is experiencing a medical emergency, CALL US before leaving the house! Measles is incredibly contagious so precautions will need to be taken before arriving at a doctor’s office, urgent care, or emergency room. We are working closely with the department of public health to triage and test patients on a case by case basis.