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Could You Get Measles and What Would it Do to You?

Out of sight, out of mind. Regardless of the phenomenon, it’s a fact of human psyche. Measles was eliminated in the United States in 2000. Then, complacency and skepticism set it – call it out-of-sightness – and through May 1 of this year 704 measles cases have occurred. Americans are not alone. The Philippines in 2019, for example, has so far reported 33,000 cases and 466 deaths.


Could you get measles? It is highly contagious. An unvaccinated person sharing a room for just five minutes with someone suffering from measles has a 90% chance of becoming ill. Debilitating fever and rash are most common, and measles can also progress to pneumonia and brain infection. Could you get measles if you’re vaccinated? Not likely. Just one dose is about 93% effective. Two doses are about 97% effective at preventing measles.


What are the risks of measles vaccine itself? Common side effects include fever, mild rash, and swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck. MMR vaccine has been linked with a very small risk of febrile seizures, about 4 for every 10,000 children immunized, and no long-term effects. Objective, independent research affirms that MMR vaccine is not linked with risk of autism.


Let us not abandon hope for the human psyche. The worse outcome from out-of-sightness is allow its progress toward actions of out-of-mindness that put we and our children at risk.

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