A recent outbreak of measles in Minnesota has prompted the Green River District Health Department and other health experts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to strongly urge residents to get vaccinated against the disease.  Here's what you need to know about the outbreak, the disease and how to best prevent it.

 

The official Facebook post from Green River Health goes on to say . . .

Measles symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes that may be sensitive to light followed by a rash that typically spreads from the face and head downward to the rest of the body over a few days. Measles spreads through the air by coughing or sneezing. You can get measles by just being in the same room as someone who has the disease.

Measles is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. It spreads very easily among unvaccinated people. The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is routinely given to children in two doses, typically at 12 months and at 4 through 6 years. The first dose offers good protection, and the second dose provides extra security.

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The Kentucky Department for Public Health has the following recommendations to protect children and adults from measles and to prevent outbreaks:

* All children aged 12 months and older who have not received MMR vaccine should get the first dose as soon as possible. A second MMR dose is routinely recommended at age 4 through 6 years but can be give 28 or more days after the first dose.

* Adults born during and after 1957 who never received a MMR vaccine and never had medical provider advice they were immune to measles should get a dose of MMR vaccine as soon as possible. Adults attending postsecondary educational institutions or working in healthcare settings should receive two MMR doses at least 28 days apart,

* For children (aged 12 months and older) and adults planning to travel internationally, particularly to Europe, Asia or Africa or living in Somali-American communities should receive two MMR doses at least 28 days apart. Infants aged 6 through 11 months should receive one dose of MMR vaccine before departure from the United States for international travel.

For parents concerned about the cost of immunizations, the Kentucky Vaccines for Children Program provides free or low-cost vaccines for eligible children through age 18 years. Please contact your local health department for more information or call the Kentucky Immunization Program at 502-564-4478.