Measles

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There currently is no outbreak of measles in Minnesota. Hennepin County reported two cases of measles linked to international travel in the summer of 2018.

Health risks

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It is no longer common in the U.S., but is still common in many other countries and may be brought into the U.S. by unvaccinated travelers. Measles can cause ear infections, pneumonia, seizures, and in some instances, brain damage and death. 

Symptoms

A high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes followed by a rash that typically spreads from the head to the rest of the body.

Prevention

Make sure you and your child have been vaccinated with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Talk to your health care provider if you
have questions about what vaccines you or your child needs. Here are the current recommendations: 

  • Children get MMR doses at 12-15 months and at 4-6 years of age; the second MMR may be given as soon as a month after the first dose. 
  • International travel to endemic or outbreak areas (including Europe, Asia and Africa) may increase risk of exposure to measles. An early dose of MMR is recommended for children 6-12 months of age and for adults and children who have not been vaccinated and who will be traveling internationally or where outbreaks are occurring.
  • Adults who have not had measles or measles vaccine should receive one dose of MMR vaccine, particularly if they were born in 1957 or later
  • Students (including college students), health care workers, and international travelers need to have received two doses of MMR vaccine, if they have not, they should get vaccinated. 

Most primary care providers offer vaccines for children, including the MMR. In addition, Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health’s Immunization Clinic at 555 Cedar in Saint Paul offers low-cost MMR vaccine and other vaccines for infants, children and adults who are uninsured, or whose insurance does not cover shots. 

Learn more about measles

Measles fact sheets (Source: Minnesota Department of Health) 

Top Four Things Parents Need to Know flyer (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)