Know Your Measles Vaccination Status - How to Check Online
SPOKANE, Wash. – Jan. 17, 2019 – With confirmation of measles virus in Washington state, Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) is advising individuals to check their children’s and their own vaccination status and verify they are up-to-date with the measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Although no measles cases are confirmed in Spokane, as of Jan. 1, 2019, Clark County Public Health has identified 16 confirmed cases and five suspected cases, all among children. The agency has a list of locations in the Vancouver/Portland metro area where additional people may have been exposed. Anyone who believes they may have been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room.
“We can expect to see many more cases of this preventable disease unless people take measures to prevent it,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, SRHD health officer. “This is a serious contagious disease and the message is absolutely critical that if you or your child is not vaccinated, you need to get vaccinated.”
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections or diarrhea. One out of 1,000 children with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and for every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. Complications are more common in adults and young children.
“Unvaccinated children could be at risk if this measles outbreak spreads across the state,” Dr. Lutz continues. “All kids should get two doses of MMR vaccine; the first at 12-15 months of age and the second at 4-6 years. The two doses are 97 percent effective.”
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the safety record of the MMR vaccine is good. Most children who get the vaccine do not have any problems. As with all medicine, some side effects – usually very minor – can happen, including mild pain where the shot is given, fever, a mild rash, or swelling of the neck or cheek.
Adults should receive at least one dose of measles vaccine, unless they were:
- previously immunized
- born prior to 1957
- previously diagnosed with measles by a doctor
- or have other medical contraindications for the vaccine
Adults who are unsure whether they received the vaccine can still get one, since there is no harm in getting it a second time. Pregnant women should wait until after giving birth to get the vaccine.
If an individual or a child’s vaccination records show a need for updates, they should contact their healthcare provider or pharmacy.
For more information about the MMR vaccine, visit cdc.gov/measles/about/index.html or srhd.org. Spokane Regional Health District’s web site also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.