viernes, 30 de marzo de 2012

CDC Features - Measles: Make Sure Your Child is Fully Immunized

CDC Features - Measles: Make Sure Your Child is Fully Immunized

Measles: Make Sure Your Child is Fully Immunized

Measles Continues to be Brought into the U.S.

So far this year, more than 20 people in the United States were confirmed to have measles. Most of these people were not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status. Measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated U.S. residents and foreign travelers who get infected when they are in other countries. They can infect others, which can lead to outbreaks.
In 2011, there were 222 cases of measles confirmed in the United States.
This is a reminder to make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date, including when you are preparing to travel. And, if you plan to travel abroad with an infant or young child, be sure to talk with your child's doctor about what is recommended for measles vaccination of young travelers
Most adults born before 1957 had measles as children. They might remember being sick for a few days with a rash and fever. And they might recall that other children in their school or neighborhood had measles at the same time. Some children developed severe complications, like pneumonia or encephalitis (swelling of the brain), or even died from measles.
Today, thanks to vaccines, very few children in the United States get measles. The number of people with measles has decreased by more than 99% since a measles vaccine was licensed in 1963. But, to keep people protected against measles, we need to always have a high level of vaccination in the community. Measles is still common in many countries—including many African, Asian, and European countries. So, measles can easily be brought into the United States by travelers or visitors who are infected. Measles is highly contagious and can spread quickly in areas and communities where people are not vaccinated.

Measles Can Be Serious

Complications from measles can be serious. They occur more commonly in children younger than 5 years old and adults 20 years of age or older. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from the disease. In fact, worldwide, measles is still a significant cause of vaccine-preventable death among children. In 2008, there were about 164,000 measles deaths worldwide—that equals 450 deaths every day or 18 deaths every hour.

The Best Protection against Measles—the MMR or MMRV Vaccine

Measles vaccine is usually given as part of a combination vaccine that provides protection against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). This vaccine is strongly endorsed by medical and public health experts as safe and effective.
CDC recommends that children get two doses—the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose before entering school at 4 through 6 years of age.
Your child's doctor may offer the MMRV vaccine, which is a combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). MMRV vaccine is licensed for children 12 months through 12 years old. It may be used in place of MMR vaccine if a child needs to have varicella vaccine in addition to measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines. Your child's doctor can help you decide which vaccine to use.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected with measles virus when they travel internationally. Check with your healthcare provider to see if you or your child (including children less than 12 months old) should be vaccinated before traveling.

To See If Your Child's Vaccine Is Due

Paying for Measles Vaccine

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines. But, you may want to check with your health insurance provider before going to the doctor. If you don't have insurance or if it does not cover vaccines, the Vaccines for Children Program may be able to help. This program helps families of eligible children get the vaccines they need. The vaccines are provided at no cost to doctors who serve eligible children. Find out if your child is eligible.

Some Adults Need Measles Vaccine Too

Anyone born during or after 1957 who has not had measles or been vaccinated is at risk and should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Two doses are recommended for adults who are at higher risk, such as college students, international travelers, and healthcare personnel.

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