More measles in Georgia – and what to do if your child has measles symptoms

Another case of measles has been identified in Georgia, in an unvaccinated child from Cobb county. Unfortunately, this led to an exposure of potentially hundreds of other children at the hospital, including infants too young to be vaccinated and children in chemotherapy. The symptoms of measles are fever, rash, cough, red eyes, and runny nose. If you suspect your child has measles DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICE. A potential measles exposure is unsafe for the young babies and other vulnerable people here. Instead of coming in, CALL US ON THE PHONE, 24/7, and we will help make arrangements for your child to be evaluated safely in a setting that minimizes the risk. Please DO NOT just go to an emergency department or urgent care center – CALL US, and we will help ensure your child gets the right care in the right place. Protection from measles is part of the routine MMR vaccine, given at our practice in two doses at 12 months and 4 years of life. If your child (and yourself!) has had two doses of MMR, measles protection is close to 100%. There are some situations where families may want to get doses early:
  • A first dose of MMR can be given as early as six months of life to provide at least temporary protection. This is not being routinely recommended, but if you hear about a measles case in your neighborhood and you’ve got a baby in the 6-11 month age range, consider getting an “early” dose. An early dose is also a good idea before international travel.
  • The second dose of MMR vaccine can be given earlier than 4 years — as early as four weeks after the first dose. Families should consider getting this second dose early if they’re traveling to an area with an especially high risk.
Measles is a serious infection that can cause long-term problems. It is essential that all of us are properly vaccinated to protect ourselves, our communities, and the people among us who cannot be vaccinated (young babies and people with immune problems.) We can beat measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases back, but we must work together to fight the fearmongers, listen to the real experts & the genuine science, and do the right thing for our children. Vaccinate!