Posted on February 29, 2024

Protecting Your Child from Measles

measles

In light of recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we feel compelled to discuss the concerning resurgence of measles, a highly contagious viral infection that poses significant risks to unvaccinated individuals.

Between December 1, 2023, and January 23, 2024, the CDC was notified of 23 confirmed U.S. cases of measles. This resurgence serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat posed by vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly measles, which had previously been declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.

Measles is a formidable adversary, characterized by fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a distinctive rash. Complications can range from ear infections and pneumonia to more severe outcomes such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), which can lead to long-term neurological damage or even death.

Fortunately, there is a powerful weapon in our arsenal against measles: vaccination. The measles vaccine, typically administered at 12 months of age, with a booster shot at age 4, is safe and highly effective at preventing measles infection. By ensuring that your child is fully vaccinated according to the recommended schedule, you provide them with robust immunity against this potentially devastating disease.

We understand that circumstances may arise, such as travel to high-risk countries, that necessitate early vaccination against measles. If you're planning international travel with your child, especially to regions where measles is endemic, we urge you to contact our clinic to discuss the possibility of an earlier vaccination schedule. Your child's health and well-being are our top priorities, and we're here to provide personalized guidance and support to meet their unique needs.

In addition to vaccination, there are several proactive steps parents can take to protect their children against measles:

  • Stay Informed: Stay abreast of updates from reputable sources such as the CDC regarding measles outbreaks and vaccination recommendations.
  • Practice Good Hygiene: Encourage regular handwashing with soap and water to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading measles and other infectious diseases.
  • Avoid Close Contact with Infected Individuals: Measles is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets. Minimize contact with individuals who are sick or symptomatic.
  • Be Mindful of Symptoms: Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of measles, and seek medical attention promptly if you suspect your child may have been exposed or is exhibiting symptoms.
  • Educate Others: Help dispel myths and misinformation surrounding vaccines by sharing accurate information with friends, family, and community members.

As trusted partners in your child's health journey, we are committed to providing comprehensive care that prioritizes prevention, early detection, and intervention when necessary.

If you have questions about measles, symptoms or prevention, please contact PCI Pediatrics at (319) 247-3820.

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