I am sure most of you have heard by now about the measles outbreak in Washington State. The majority of the cases there are unvaccinated children under 10 years old.

Symptoms of measles usually start with a fever. Then a dry cough and runny nose will start. Conjunctivitis is common and also white spots inside the mouth. The rash is a flat red rash that spreads over time to cover most of the body. It appears several days after the fever. It usually is an itchy rash. The rash may change color from red to brown before disappearing. This can take up to 3 weeks. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure. Measles is spread by coughing or sneezing. Measles virus can remain in the air or on surfaces for up to 2 hours after the infected person leaves the room. This is why it is so hard to prevent the spread.

Prevention is key to stopping the spread of measles. Your children should be vaccinated with the first dose of MMR between the ages of 12 months and 15 months. The second dose should be administered at age 4 years. Experts say that 1 dose of the vaccine provides 93% immunity and 2 shots provide 97% immunity.

Please protect your children from childhood diseases with vaccinations!!