Public Service Announcement from Southcoast Health: Measles in Massachusetts & outbreaks in the U.S.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently confirmed a case of Measles in the state and measles outbreaks are ongoing in several states around the country. The best way to prevent Measles is to get vaccinated. The Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine, known as MMR, is highly effective and protects against these three highly contagious diseases.
Measles is a disease caused by a virus that spreads very easily from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It is followed by a rash of fine, red spots, that start at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years of age, adults over 20, and people with compromised immune systems. Measles may lead to severe illness, hospitalization, brain swelling, and in rare cases, even death.
If you or your loved ones are not up-to-date with the MMR vaccination, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your family is at increased risk of contracting and spreading Measles. Southcoast Health strongly encourages reviewing your immunizations record by contacting your Primary Care Provider or, if you are a Southcoast Health patient, by logging into your MyChart account.
Please contact your Primary Care Provider if you, or a loved one, needs an appointment for the MMR vaccine.
If records cannot be located and you are unsure if you received the vaccine you can call your Primary Care Provider to discuss a blood test to check for immunity.
Other community resources for determining immune status or obtaining MMR vaccinations:
- Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, New Bedford & Wareham
- 508-992-6553 (New Bedford) or 508-342-4701 (Wareham)
- HealthFirst Family Care Center, Fall River
- SSTAR Family Health Clinic, Fall River
For Fall River Residents:
If you cannot locate vaccination records, you can call the Fall River Board of Health at 508-324-2410. Representatives there have access to the state’s database of immunization records.
More information on the Measles can be found at:
- Center for Disease Control www.cdc.gov/measles
- Center for Disease Control (Spanish) https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/index-sp.html
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health (Spanish & Portuguese available) www.mass.gov/service-details/measles