Doctor's Orders

What Adults Need to Know About Measles

 

The recent incline of confirmed cases of measles has caused concern for some people. We have answered some of the most common questions surrounding measles for adults.

 

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious virus found throughout the world. This year, the U.S. has seen a record increase in measles. According to the CDC, from January 1 to April 26, 2019, 704 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

 

How is measles spread?

People get the measles by breathing in the virus. You can get measles just by being in the same room with an infected person.

 

What are symptoms of measles?

The average time frame from exposure to development of symptoms is usually 10 to 12 days, but can be as many as 21 days later. Symptoms of measles include:

    • High fever
    • Generalized rash
    • Runny nose
    • Pink and watery eyes
    • Coughing
    • Diarrhea
    • Earache

How do you prevent measles?

You can prevent measles by being vaccinated! The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella. The MMR vaccine is available at ParkMed Urgent Care.

 

Who should get vaccinated against measles with the MMR vaccine?

Adults born in 1957 or later who do not have a medical contraindication should receive at least one dose of the MMR vaccine, unless they have documentation of vaccination.

 

Adults who are going to be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles or mumps 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
    • International travelers
    • Populations that public health authorities determine are at increased risk during an outbreak

How can I tell if I’m immune to measles?

If you’re unsure whether you’re immune to measles, you should try to find your vaccination records or documentation of measles immunity. There is no harm in getting another dose of MMR vaccine if you may already be immune to measles (or mumps or rubella). You can get a titer blood test to determine if you are immune or to determine if you need a second dose of the vaccine. ParkMed Urgent Care offers the titer blood test.

 

What should I do if I’ve been exposed to someone who has measles or think I have measles?

Immediately call your doctor and let them know you have been exposed to someone with measles or tell them your symptoms. They will advise you on the best course of action to protect yourself and those around you.

 

ParkMed Urgent Care is committed to keeping the workplace environment safe. We offer the measles vaccine for employers, in addition to our other occupational health services. Visit our occupational health page for more details.

 

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html

http://www.adultvaccination.org/vpd/measles/adultvaccination-facts-about-measles-for-adults.html

 

Read about other urgent care topics on our Resources page.

 

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