Stay informed: Measles and prevention

Feb 07, 2019

Recent measles outbreaks have been in the news, causing questions and concerns. There are no cases of measles in Whatcom or Skagit County, but Family Care Network believes in keeping our patients informed with reliable, accurate information.

Measles is very contagious. A high fever is normally the first sign, followed by a runny nose, red eyes, sore throat, tiny white bumps in the mouth and a rash that begins at the hairline and spreads to other parts of the body.

Although there is no cure, prevention is possible.

Immunizations are the first and best defense against preventable diseases. To prevent measles, you must stay up-to-date with your MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella).

If you’re unsure if you’re immune to measles, you can check your vaccine records by contacting your doctor or state health department. Washington state residents can access records at https://wa.myir.net/.

If you can’t find documentation of your measles immunity, you should get vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. There’s no harm in receiving it twice.

Family Care Network patients can call their clinic to set up an appointment for immunizations. Free MMR vaccines are available for children under age 18 at healthcare providers across Washington State. If you or a family member are experiencing measles symptoms, please call your doctor right away. Because measles is so contagious, explain your symptoms BEFORE entering any medical office, urgent care, or emergency department. This allows caregivers to develop a care plan that does not increase risk to others.

For a current list of measles outbreaks in Washington state visit:

https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Measles/Measle...

For more information on measles visit:

Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/index.html.

Whatcom County Health Department:

https://www.whatcomcounty.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1206

https://www.whatcomcounty.us/1707/Measles.

Skagit County Health Department:

https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/Home/press/012819.htm