Only people who may have been exposed and are not already immune to measles either by adequate immunization or from having the disease in the past are at immediate risk.
Keep in mind that not everyone is at risk for measles. You are considered adequately protected if:
Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. However, anyone who was in a location of potential exposure to measles around the times listed should:
You do not need to do anything if you have been immunized or were born before 1957. Even if you were exposed, you don’t need to do anything (see above).
If you haven’t been exposed you are probably not at risk. Out of an abundance of caution, it is always a good idea to be vaccinated. There are many places where you can get a measles vaccination. (list here)(Link?)
You can call your primary care provider. If they don’t have a record, they can login to the state vaccination tracking system and check there as well.
If you don’t have a primary care provider please call the Kenai Public Health Center to check with them (907) 335-3400.
Measles is caused by a virus and spreads very easily when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. It spreads so easily that someone who is not protected (either by being immunized or having had measles in the past) can get it if they walk into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours.
Measles is a very serious disease. About one out of 10 children with measles also gets an ear infection, and up to one out of 20 gets pneumonia. One or two out of 1,000 die from measles complications. Measles can also cause pregnant woman to miscarry or give birth prematurely. Complications from measles are very common among children younger than five and adults older than 20.
Measles spreads so easily that anyone who is exposed to it and is not immune (for example, someone who has not been vaccinated) will probably get the disease.
Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough, and a rash all over the body. People can spread measles before they show symptoms.
Symptoms usually last seven to 10 days.
Many people have never seen what measles looks like because vaccination has made cases fairly rare in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers photos that show what measles looks like.
There is no specific treatment for measles. The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine may prevent illness if given to unvaccinated kids over 12 months or adults within the first three days after being exposed to measles.
Getting vaccinated is the best protection against measles. When more than 95 percent of people are vaccinated against measles, the disease slows down and doesn’t spread.
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