You may have heard that there’s an outbreak of measles in nearby Clark and Multnomah Counties. There are no reported cases of measles in Clatsop County, but we should all be prepared.
Measles can be very dangerous, or even deadly, especially for babies, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. Learn more about measles and how you can help prevent it.
Measles is a very contagious virus. It spreads through the air when someone coughs or sneezes, and it can stay in the air for two hours after an infected person has passed by. You can be protected from the measles by getting two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Almost everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated will get the measles if exposed.
Measles starts like a respiratory infection, with a coughing and runny nose, followed by a rash of tiny red spots that starts at the head and spreads downward.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that children get two doses of the MMR vaccine—one at 12-15 months of age and one between four and six years old.
If you have not been vaccinated for measles and were born after 1956, you are at risk for this uncomfortable and possibly deadly disease. Teens and adults should make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, including infants under age one.
The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. The first dose is 93 percent effective and the second dose is 97 percent effective. If you have had two doses, there is no need for a booster shot—you are considered to have lifetime immunity to measles.
To check if you have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, call your doctor, the county health department, school, the pharmacy or WIC. In most cases, these organizations have access to statewide vaccination databases.
If you or your child are a patient of Columbia Memorial Hospital, you can check your vaccination records through the myCMH–Patient Portal. If you are a patient and haven’t enrolled yet, you can sign up for the patient portal.
You can get vaccinated at your doctor’s office and the county health department. Depending on availability, you may also get vaccinated at a pharmacy, WIC and schools.
Children’s vaccines are free to you. They’re covered by insurance or the Vaccines for Kids program. Adult vaccines are generally covered by insurance.
Media Contact: Nancee Long, 503-338-4504
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