Measles, also known as rubeola or red measles, is a highly contagious disease spread by a virus easily transmitted though the air. Symptoms of measles begin 7-21 days after being exposed and can include high fever, rash, cold-like symptoms and red, inflamed eyes. Complications of measles can include diarrhea, ear infection, pneumonia, and encephalitis (swelling of the brain that can lead to seizures, deafness, or permanent brain damage). There is no cure for measles; treatment is only supportive. About 1 in 3000 people with measles will die from complications.
Mumps is a virus spread by respiratory droplets, saliva, or contact with contaminated objects. Symptoms of mumps begin 16-18 days after being exposed and can include fever, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, and swelling of the salivary glands. Complications of mumps can include painful inflammation of the testicles, meningitis, encephalitis, and pancreatitis. There is no cure for measles; treatment is only supportive.
Rubella, also known as German measles, is spread by respiratory droplets, saliva, or contact with contaminated objects. Symptoms of rubella begin 12-23 days after being exposed and can include fever, fatigue, red eyes, runny nose, sore throat, rash and swollen lymph nodes. Infection during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, fetal death, or congenital rubella syndrome resulting in severe birth defects. There is no cure for rubella; treatment is only supportive.
How can I prevent Measles, Mumps and Rubella?
Receiving the Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to prevent infection from measles, mumps and rubella.
Who should receive the MMR vaccine?
All individuals born after 1957 without history of having the measles, mumps and rubella diseases; those without lab confirmation of measles, mumps and rubella immunity; or those without documentation of two previous doses of MMR should receive the MMR vaccine.
MMR vaccine schedule:
- Infants between the ages of 6-11 months should receive 1 dose of MMR if at risk due to travel. Infants who received the vaccine before 12 months of age must be revaccinated according to the routine schedule (dose #1 at 12 months of age; dose #2 at 4-6 years of age).
- Children 12 months of age and older should receive 2 doses of MMR separated by at least 28 days.
- Adults born after 1970 (1957 for health care workers) should receive 2 doses of MMR separated by at least 28 days (individuals born prior to 1957 are considered immune to measles). Those born between 1957 and 1970 are generally assumed to have acquired immunity from natural infection, however those without documentation of 2 doses of measles vaccine, or those who do not self-identify as having had the disease may be susceptible and should receive 1 dose of MMR.
Call us at 604-251-1975 to arrange an appointment or to receive further information about the MMR vaccine.
Visit our Kitsilano clinic for a pre-travel consultation and vaccinations to protect your health.
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