Until recently, many healthcare professionals had never seen a rash from the measles. Unfortunately, ongoing measles outbreaks are becoming common place. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) measles outbreaks have been confirmed in nine states since January 2008. In four of the states (Arizona, New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin), the outbreaks are ongoing. Most of the cases occurred in children that had not been vaccinated due to age, or parents that claimed exemption.
It is important for healthcare professionals to remember that measles is more than a rash; it can cause high fever, coughing, runny nose, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death. Vaccination against the measles (MMR) is usually administered at 12–15 months of age and the second dose at 4–6 years of age. In addition, adults born during or after 1957 should receive at least one dose of vaccine unless they have documented evidence of measles immunity. For more information from the CDC visit: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/MeaslesUpdate.