A child in Milwaukee has been diagnosed with measles. Measles is an illness that causes high fever, bloodshot eyes, cough and a rash. In some cases, people also develop pneumonia and rarely a severe brain infection. It’s very easy to spread measles from person to person and there is no treatment. Fortunately, it’s also very easy to prevent measles.
The Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine works very well. Children should receive the first MMR dose at age 12 months and a second dose usually after age 4. But if you haven’t been immunized, it’s never too late. There is no upper age limit for the vaccine. The vaccine is safe and does not cause autism.
A recent review of local data indicated that at least 10 percent of the young children in Southeast Wisconsin have not had a MMR shot. Check vaccine records for you and your children. If you are not sure about whether you or your children are fully protected, contact your physician.
For more information about measles and the MMR vaccine, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
~ Lyn Ranta, MD, director of Physician Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Dr. Ranta is a co-leader of Children’s Hospital’s immunization initiative, and she treated children as a community pediatrician for more than 20 years.