What you need to know, and how to keep you and your family protected.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that causes a painful rash and fever. Approximately 9 out of 10 susceptible persons in close contact to a measles patient will develop measles and the virus can stay in the air of a room where an infected person was for up to 2 hours. The rash usually appears 14 days after a person is exposed and an infected person can spread measles for 4 days BEFORE they get the rash and for 4 days after the rash appears.
The measles can be dangerous, especially for young children and babies. However, anyone at any age who is not protected can get the measles. Children less than 5 years old and adults greater than 20 years old are more likely to suffer from measles related complications. 1 in 4 persons who get measles will be hospitalized.
According to the Washington State Department of Health², as of March 4th, there are currently 71 confirmed cases (1 in King county and 70 in Clark county) and seven suspect cases.
Age breakdown of those infected:
1-10 yrs of age: 51 cases
11-18 yrs of age: 15 cases
19-29: 1 case
>50 years of age: 3
The best way to protect you and your family from the measles is to get vaccinated. The M-M-R (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is a 2-dose series that is 93% effective after one dose and the second dose making it ~97% effective at protecting against measles1. Getting vaccinated protects you and the people around you who are unable to be vaccinated because they are too young or have weakened immune systems.
All our pharmacists can prescribe and administer the needed M-M-R vaccinations to anyone 3 years and older and answer any questions you may have about measles and/or the vaccination.