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Measles Outbreak: Protecting Our Schools and Community

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a concerning measles outbreak across 16 states in the U.S. We want to provide important information to help families stay informed and take preventive measures.

About Measles

Measles is an extremely contagious and potentially serious viral illness. It causes a distinct rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. In some cases, measles can lead to dangerous complications like pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). There is no specific treatment for measles, making prevention through vaccination crucial.

Vaccination is Key

The measles vaccine, given in two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shot, is the best way to protect against measles. Children need one dose between 12-15 months old and a second dose before starting school around 4-6 years old.

Check Your Child’s Vaccination Records

As this outbreak continues to spread, we urge all parents and guardians to check their child’s immunization records. Ensure they have received the two required MMR doses for full protection. You can view records through MyVaxIndiana using the PIN from your provider or by contacting your family healthcare provider directly.

Potential School Exclusions

Unfortunately, children with zero or only one MMR dose are at high risk if exposed to measles. These unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students will be excluded from attending school for 21 days after each measles exposure to prevent further spread.

Seeking Vaccination or Care

If your child needs the MMR vaccine or you suspect they may have measles, promptly contact your healthcare provider or the local health department. When seeking medical care for potential measles symptoms like fever and rash, call ahead to allow the facility to take proper precautions.

Let’s Work Together

This fact sheet includes more details on measles and the vaccine. The best way to safeguard your child’s health is ensuring they have received both MMR doses according to the recommended schedule. If you need any assistance locating vaccination clinics or accessing records, our health services team is ready to help.