If you haven’t heard or read about it in the news, there has been an outbreak of measles that started in California and has spread to multiple states throughout the United States. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world, in that, unless one has immunity from vaccination or previous infection, exposure to an active case almost certainly ensures that one will be infected. It is a serious illness even if one recovers fully. And some who catch the disease have serious complications including encephalitis (brain injury) and death.
If your child has been getting routine checkups in our office and you have not refused routine vaccination for your child, your child should have gotten this at 15 months of age and should be protected against measles. If that is the case you may disregard this message and do not need to take any action.
If you have refused vaccination, specifically the MMR vaccine, you may get this immunization in our office at any time. The CDC recommends that all children receive the first dose of this at 1215 months of age and a second dose at age 4. If your child is older than this and has not been immunized, it is recommended to start the series as soon as possible.
The MMR vaccine can be given as early as 6 months of age in high risk situations (although it would still have to be repeated at 1215 months and again at age 4). You may consider this option if you are traveling internationally or to an area that has been affected by the recent measles outbreak.
If you have not done so at your child’s regular checkups, we urge you to get your child immunized. You may bring your child for a nurse visit and usually this can be done without cost to you. If you have questions or concerns about starting immunizations or MMR vaccine and wish to speak with a physician please call and set up an appointment so that concerns may be addressed.
We take our patients’ health seriously and want to make you aware of the best course of action.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns,
The Physicians and Staff of Pediatrics of Florence