News Item

Vaccination Recommended After Measles Outbreaks in Several States

posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

Several states, including Washington, New York, and Illinois, have ongoing measles outbreaks. This serves as a good reminder about the importance of vaccination. The Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect yourself. Two doses of MMR vaccine provide 97% protection against measles.

The first dose of MMR should be given on or after the first birthday. A second dose of MMR is recommended to produce immunity in those who failed to respond to the first dose. The second dose of MMR vaccine should routinely be given at age 4-6 years, before a child enters kindergarten or first grade. The second dose of MMR may be administered as soon as 4 weeks (28 days) after the first dose.However, those who are older but unvaccinated, including adults who did not receive the vaccine as a child, may still be vaccinated and receive protection.

“Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease. A small number of cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics,” said Dottie-Kay Bowersox, Public Health Administrator for the City of Racine Public Health Department. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and rash; severe cases may result in death. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age.

Generally, preschool children, adolescents, young adults and inadequately immunized individuals comprise the majority of measles cases in the United States. There is no specific treatment for measles. “The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is by immunization,” says Bowersox.

To obtain a measles vaccination, call your health care provider or your local public health department.

For more information on measles, visit and