In , after a decades-long vaccination program, the CDC declared measles eliminated from the United States. Jump to today, the United States has seen more measles diagnoses in the first three months of than in all of Although unvaccinated children are at high risk for infection, adults can also be impacted by the virus. Jeffrey Steinbauer , professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, discusses measles in adults and what you should know about immunity. The CDC considers individuals who have received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella MMR vaccine and are exposed to high risk settings such as educational institutions, international locations, and healthcare organizations immune. If you received one dose of the MMR vaccine and you will not be in a high-risk setting for measles transmission, you are also considered immune.
Measles causes a red, blotchy rash that usually appears first on the face and behind the ears, then spreads downward to the chest and back and finally to the feet. Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine. Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than , people a year, most under the age of 5.
Measles can be serious. Children younger than 5 years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are more likely to suffer from complications. Common complications are ear infections and diarrhea. Serious complications include pneumonia and encephalitis. Measles can be serious in all age groups.
All adults born in or later who have not been vaccinated or have not had measles should be vaccinated. CDC states that if you are not sure about your vaccination status, it is safe to get another measles vaccine. The only people who should not get vaccinated are those who are immunocompromised or pregnant. Talk to a healthcare professional to find out if you should receive a vaccination.