The Colorado Health Department issued a warning on January 9 of possible measles exposure in the Denver/Boulder area in late December. But, in my opinion, Denver parents should not worry too much.
The measles vaccination rate in the United States is high. When given according to protocol, the vaccination is up to 95 percent effective in children aged 12 months old, up to 98 percent at 15 months old, and up to 99 percent (with 2 doses of vaccine) at one year old and a second dose at 4-6 years old.
The biggest risk is to infants who have not received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, as they may not have the protective antibody.
Typical signs of measles include a fever on day one (which may increase in intensity step-wise to maximum fever at Day 4), coughing, inflamed, red eyes with drainage, and profuse runny nose. A pink-to-reddish color rash will start on Day 4 at the peak of fever. The rash begins on the neck and face and will spread down to the torso on Day 2 and to the legs around Day 3. The rash on the face will still persist.
The best defense against measles is the vaccination. If you live close to where the first instance of a measles case was identified, keep children at home and away from crowded areas and schools. Measles is actually a respiratory illness that can be spread by coughing and sneezing and could affect infants who are too young to be vaccinated (those under one year of age), adults with weakened immune systems and those who haven’t been immunized.
For more information on measles, visit Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children’s measles page.
** This blog post was written to serve as informational guidance about measles should not be taken as concrete medical advice, nor do the views above reflect the views of Rocky Mountain Pediatric Infectious Disease Consultants or the HealthONE organization. As with any medical questions or concerns, it’s imperative to make an appointment with your physician for proper counseling. To find an emergency department near you, click here.
A board-certified pediatrician and pediatric infectious disease specialist, Pisespong Patamasucon, MD, studied at the Chiang Mai University in Thailand before completing pediatric residencies at the Children’s Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, and Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Disease at University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Dallas. A noted scholar in his field, Dr. Patamasucon’s publications include a wide range of textbooks, journals and clinical pediatric infectious diseases publications. He has earned the Top Doctor award in pediatric infectious disease with an emphasis in antibiotic resistance from Desert Companion magazine from 2010-2016. Learn more at rockymountainkidsid.com.
Although measles vaccination rates in the US are high, Colorado has one of the lowest rates in the country unfortunately. Thank you for sharing such an important message!