You Can Help Eradicate Measles
Vaccinations save lives
Few of us can forget the Measles outbreak last spring and the alarm and controversy it caused. Cases of Measles were reported in 30 states, including Massachusetts, which was alarming because Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.
Protect Kids Now
Although Measles is not currently widespread in southeastern Massachusetts, children returning to school provide an ideal opportunity for this highly contagious disease to reappear and spread rapidly if appropriate precautions are not taken.
What Is Measles?
Measles is caused by a virus. The earliest symptoms resemble those of a cold — a cough, runny nose, red eyes, headache and fever and sometimes ear infection or diarrhea. Unlike a cold, within several days the person will develop an itchy rash of small raised bumps that starts at the head and spreads downward. Most people can recover from the infection after about a week or so, but some may suffer complications, such as pneumonia or nerve damage that can lead to encephalitis (swelling of the lining of the brain), blindness, deafness or, in rare cases, death.
Unfortunately, physicians are facing some skepticism about the safety of vaccinations, largely because of a study that claimed they caused autism in children. That study was disproved because the data was incorrect, and the study participants were involved in a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers.
Protecting the Community
The Measles vaccine doesn’t just protect the individual receiving the shot, it reduces the chance that Measles will spread to others who cannot receive the vaccine for health reasons, such as young infants, the elderly, people with a compromised immune system or pregnant women.
If you have concerns about the safety of vaccines, talk with your healthcare provider. You can find a provider here.