The importance of getting the measles vaccine
A disease many doctors thought was wiped out two decades ago, has reappeared and surged to its highest level in the U.S. in 25 years.
Now, Tennessee health officials have released new information on the one person identified as having measles in the state.
Doctor Charles Woods says there's been one confirmed case in East Tennessee and one person who is been exposed to someone with measles from the Chattanooga area.
This airborne disease can be spread by coughing, sneezing and even breathing. That's what makes measles highly contagious.
In recent years, a lot of families have become more afraid of the vaccine by false information says, Woods. He says parents are trying to make the best decision for their child, but we've had fewer children vaccinated against measles. “That means more of them have been susceptible to get measles,” said Woods. “If they are exposed and that allows measles to become reestablish in the country.”
Woods says to eliminate measles we have to have 95% of people have to be vaccinated. He says we are starting to see numbers of vaccinations decrease.
“We end up with enough children that some of them are going to get measles and some of them are going to have a complication that is going to alter that child's life,” said Woods.
Doctors say it starts out almost like the flu or a bad cold with a runny nose fever and watery eyes. Generally a few days later that the classic rash develops.
During the measles outbreak in the 80s, people thought you just needed to have one dose. Woods says the best way to protect your families to get the two doses.
“Measles vaccine is recommended; the first dose between 12 and 15 months of age,” said Woods. “Standardly a second dose in six years.”
If you are experiencing symptoms contact your doctor and try to stay away from as many people to reduce the chances of exposure.
The measles vaccine is covered by most health insurance companies.