Protecting your family against measles

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– More than 760 measles cases have been reported in the U.S. this year, the highest number of cases in the country since 1994. 

The CDC is reporting 60 new cases since last week, largely driven by two outbreaks in New York. 

Overall, 23 states have reported cases this year. 

No cases have been reported in South Dakota or Minnesota, but two unnvaccinated people in northeast Iowa have contracted measles this year. 

Heading to the doctor for shots isn’t exactly fun. 

“They’ll hate you for an hour, but after that they’ll be fine and back to themselves,” Mother Shannon McIntyre said. 

Mother Shannon McIntyre knows all about that. 

5-year-old Morrison already has measles vaccinations he needs ahead of the new school year. 

Kids need to get the shot twice: once after their first birthday and then after their fourth birthday. 

That’s something Avera Pediatrician Shari Eich wants all families to be doing. 

“The scary thing about measles, it is extremely contagious. It is actually more contagious than things like ebola or SARS. One person with measles can infect 12-18 other people,” Dr. Shari Eich said. 

Dr. Eich calls the vaccine “very effective.”

“But we need about 95 percent of people to be vaccinated in order to keep up that immunity,” Eich said. 

While no measles cases have been reported in KELOLAND yet, you still need to make sure your family is protected. 

“The way measles cases have been spreading across the country there’s a strong likelihood that we will get a case, which is why the vaccine is so important. It’s the only protection we have against the measles,” Eich said. 

That’s why McIntyre isn’t taking any chances. 

“I would rather him be happy and healthy and exaclty the way he is that see him so sick that he may end up in the hospital or worse,” McIntyre said. 

If you’re an adult and you haven’t had your second measles vaccine you should check with your doctor to see if you need it. 

You can find vaccine recommendation chart here. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


 

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