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Disclosure: Waylandenews Executive Director Kim Reichelt is a member of the Wayland School Committee. Her work on this site, however, is as an individual, not as a member of the School Committee.

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Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization of men and women incorporated in 1999. The goal of the Roundtable is to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence through community education and networking and to improve the coordination between public and private services for victims and families touched by domestic violence.

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Measles education and prevention from Wayland health officials

The following information on Measles was prepared by BoH Chairperson Susan Green, PHN/Nurse Leader Ruth Mori, and Director of Public Health Julia Junghanns:

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can result in severe, sometimes permanent complications including pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and even death.

Measles is caused by a virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person and spreads easily through breathing, coughing, and sneezing. When someone with measles coughs, sneezes, or talks, infected droplets spray into the air where other people can inhale them, or land on a surface, where they remain active and contagious for several hours. If others breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. 

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. Infected people can spread measles from four days before through four days after the rash appears. 

Symptoms

Symptoms include rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. 

The rash usually appears about 14 days after a person is exposed. The rash spreads from the head to the trunk to the lower extremities. Individuals who have compromised immune systems do not always develop the rash.  People who have these symptoms or believe they have been at a location where an exposure has taken place, should contact their health care provider as soon as possible to determine next steps. 

Prevention

The measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect you and your family from measles.

In the U.S., two doses of the MMR vaccine are recommended for children. Infants normally get their first measles vaccine between 12 and 15 months followed by another shot between 4 and 6 years. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that any baby as young as 6 months old who will be travelling internationally should get a vaccine before leaving the U.S., followed by two additional doses later.

Adolescents who were not previously vaccinated should get two doses (with at least 28 days between doses); those adolescents who only received one dose should get the second dose.

Are you and your family immune to measles? 

(What is considered acceptable evidence of immunity to measles?)

Acceptable presumptive evidence of immunity against measles includes at least one of the following:

  • Written documentation of one or more doses of live attenuated measles-containing vaccine;
  • One dose of MMR for adults who have no evidence of immunity and are not high risk
  • Two doses of MMR provided to children (first dose between12-15 months of age second dose between ages four to six years of age) or any age after so that they have received a total of two doses.
  • Two doses of MMR for high risk adults (college students, healthcare personnel and international travelers) 
  • Laboratory evidence of immunity
  • Labortory confirmation of measles (verbal history of measles does not count); or
  • Birth before 1957

Although birth before 1957 is considered acceptable evidence of measles immunity, health care facilities should consider vaccinating unvaccinated personnel born before 1957 who do not have other evidence of immunity with 2 doses of MMR vaccine (minimum interval 28 days).*

TRAVELING

IF YOU ARE TRAVELING OUT OF THE COUNTRY IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO VERIFY YOUR MEASLES VACCINATION STATUS.

Important information for Adults

An ineffective, inactivated measles vaccine was available in the U.S. from 1963 through 1967.  The *live attenuated measles vaccine, which is effective against measles, also became available in the U.S. in 1963.  Therefore, people vaccinated for measles between 1963-1967, “may or may not” have immunity to the measles virus depending on which measles vaccine they received. (Note, that the more familiar combined MMR vaccine (MMRII, Merck) was licensed in 1971.) If you received a dose of measles vaccine between 1963 and 1967 and are unsure which type of vaccine it was, or are sure it was inactivated measles vaccine, that dose should be considered invalid.  We suggest you talk to your Primary Care Physician and discuss revaccination as age- and risk-appropriate with MMR vaccine. CDC states that if you are not sure about your vaccination status, it is safe to get another measles vaccine.

Adults with no evidence of immunity should get 1 dose of MMR vaccine unless the adult is in a high-risk group. People at high-risk need 2 doses and include healthcare personnel, international travelers, and students attending post-high school educational institutions.  

CDC states that if you are not sure about your vaccination status, it is safe to get another measles vaccine.

Talk to a healthcare professional to find out if you should receive a vaccination.

 

* This information has been directly obtained through the Immunization Action Coalition https://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_mmr.asp#general

**The above information has been directly obtained through the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases at https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/measles   

Additional Resources

https://www.mass.gov/service-details/measles

https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html

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