General Information About Measles:
• Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread by coughing, sneezing, and direct contact with contaminated surfaces. More than 90 percent of individuals who are in close contact with an infected person and who are not vaccinated will get the disease.
• Prior to the measles vaccine in the 1960s, nearly every school-age child contracted measles. Several hundred people in the United States died every year from it, and thousands suffered long-term damage such as hearing loss and brain damage.
• Worldwide, measles is prevalent in multiple countries—thousands of children across the world die from measles.
Importance of the Measles Vaccine:
• In the United States, measles was considered eradicated in 2000, when there were just a few dozen cases. However, due to parents receiving misinformation and choosing not to vaccinate their kids, the incidence of measles has been rising. There were 644 cases of measles in the United States in 2014.
• There has not been a documented case of measles in Baltimore City in the last decade. Baltimore has high vaccination rates, with nearly 99 percent of public school children being vaccinated.
• Receiving the CDC recommended doses of the vaccine creates immunity to the virus.
• There is a lot of misinformation around vaccination. There is no scientific evidence that vaccines will cause autism or poisoning. In fact, vaccines save thousands of lives in the U.S. every year.
• The CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.