Measles Is No Joke

Find out if you are protected

May 06, 2019  

What you need to know about measles

Measles is a serious respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever. Measles typically starts with a high fever, runny nose, cough, and red and watery eyes. Tiny white spots may appear in the mouth two to three days after symptoms begin. It's followed by a rash that starts on the head and then spreads over the body. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. The CDC advises that you and your child are protected with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The most important group to reach is children, says the CDC. That’s because measles outbreaks can spread quickly in preschools and kindergartens. Some adults, however, should talk to their doctor and consider getting an MMR vaccination.

The vaccination is considered preventive under your Tufts Health Plan coverage and is available at no cost to you.

Were you born after 1957?

If you were born after 1957, you should talk to your doctor to be sure you are protected if an outbreak occurs in your area.

People born after 1957 generally had only one MMR dose, according to the CDC. One dose is about 93-percent effective at preventing measles, but anyone in that age group can still get a second dose, health officials say.

Two doses are about 97-percent effective. Even if someone has had two doses (or can’t remember), doctors say it is okay to get a third dose.

The CDC also recommends that the following individuals be vaccinated:

  • Children 12-15 months old and a second dose at 4-6 years
  • Students in post-high school educational institutions
  • Frequent international travelers who are 6 months of age and older
  • Health care workers
  • Women of childbearing age

Individuals at any age who are worried about their immunization levels should speak to their doctor.

Tufts Health Plan makes an effort to keep our members informed regarding recent developments that can impact the health of our members. Our measles notification tracks guidance issued by the CDC. Per CDC, birth before 1957 is “acceptable presumptive evidence of immunity”, because the infection was so common then. For further information, please contact your Primary Care Provider regarding whether the vaccination makes sense for you. Tufts Health Plan does not receive any financial compensation for, nor specifically promote, any vaccination.