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MEASLES IN GEORGIA!

On January 17, 2019, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported two cases of measles in the metro Atlanta area. The cases likely originated from unvaccinated children who travelled from Washington, a state where 16 cases have been reported since January 1. According to the Washington Department of Public Health, 14 of the 16 cases were unimmunized and 2 had unverified vaccination status. Thirteen cases were children under 11 years old, and 2 cases required hospitalization. 

Measles is a highly contagious disease. It is spread through coughing or sneezing, breathing contaminated air, or touching objects contaminated by infected respiratory droplets. Unprotected persons have a 90% chance of becoming infected when exposed to the measles virus. 

The symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red water eyes, and a rash that spreads from head to feet. In some cases, measles may cause pneumonia or encephalitis (swelling of brain), and it may rarely result in death. It can also rarely cause a fatal neurologic disease 7 to 10 years later. If your child has been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, he or she should be protected. The MMR vaccine is given at 12-15 months old and again at 4-6 years old.
 
If you suspect that your child has measles, DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICE OR TO ANOTHER MEDICAL FACILITY! We do not want to expose other patients, especially babies and young children and those with immune problems, to measles infection. Instead, CALL US ON THE PHONE (24 hours a day) so that we can arrange a safe environment in which to evaluate your child. We can also verify whether your child has been protected by the MMR vaccine. 

The best way to protect your child against measles is VACCINATION!
The MMR vaccine is highly effective with 97% protection after two doses. In 2000, measles was eliminated from the United States due to committed vaccination of children. Unfortunately, we have recently seen a resurgence in measles due to pockets of unvaccinated people and due to travel. Unvaccinated travelers (both American and foreign) can bring measles from countries experiencing outbreaks (including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific) and spread it in our own country.
 
Help us in the fight against measles. Vaccinate your child. If you are travelling, make sure your vaccination status is up to date. Learn more about measles by checking out www.CDC.gov/measles

Protect spread of germs by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands, and avoiding shared use of cups or utensils. Keep your child home from school or daycare if he/she has a fever. Use Symptom Checker on our website (www.roswellpediatrics.com) for guidance in managing symptoms of illness at home. And, call us at Roswell Pediatric Center if you have any questions or concerns.

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