Measles is an infectious disease that causes fever, cold like symptoms and a red rash that begins on the head and spreads downward.
Apart from the acute illness, complications can arise including encephalitis which can cause permanent brain damage.
Measles can also be fatal.
It is highly contagious.
Our clinic in Millington did have a case of measles last Thursday that was confirmed over the weekend. The patient was less than 12 months old, too young to receive the vaccination.
We are currently working vigilantly in conjunction with the Health Department to assure the well being of our patients and our community.
Measles is a rare condition in the United States due to the MMR vaccine. There have been less than 10 cases in Tennessee in the last 12 years prior to the recent outbreak where the health department has confirmed six cases in the last week.
We are recommending to all families with children 12 months and older who have not received the MMR vaccination to receive one as soon as possible. A second dose should be given at age 4.
If you have not vaccinated your children, and you call to schedule a visit for the MMR shot, you will be told when you call that we would like for your child to enter in through a private door as we would like to protect those children who are at the clinic, as you may be able to spread the virus even before showing signs or symptoms. This will also protect your child from any potential exposure in the waiting room as unvaccinated children are, of course, at risk.
Vaccinating your child not only has the benefit of preventing them from contracting the illness but also from passing it along to someone who is immunocompromised, pregnant or an unvaccinated infant.
People in these high-risk categories can often have complications or more serious outcomes.
The MMR vaccine is safe and it works well.
If you have any questions, please call our clinic or the health department's measles hotline # (901) 222-9299
Primary Care Pediatrics