“Although we currently are not seeing cases of measles here in Winona, we know that parents are concerned,” said Sarah Lallaman, pediatrician and chief of Primary Care Services at Winona Health. “We have outstanding immunization rates in our community, and that is helpful in preventing the spread of disease.”
The Winona Health Pediatrics department shared the following information for parents who may be concerned about measles.
- Measles presents with fever, cough, runny nose and tearful eyes, which are fairly basic symptoms that can be similar in presentation with any other respiratory illness
- The rash, when it develops, typically develops from the head downward
- The illness is extremely contagious for unvaccinated individuals and can cause serious illness and hospitalization for symptom management
- The MMR vaccine contains protection for measles and is routinely given at 12 months of age with a booster after age 4 and before kindergarten
- The first vaccine provides a 93% effective protection, and the booster is thought to be 97% effective
- The rest of the protection relies on herd immunity, or everyone else getting the vaccine to prevent outbreaks and high rates of disease
- The vaccination series can be given quicker if needed, but that is only recommended for certain groups for certain risk factors
Winona Health’s Current Practice
- Winona Health will continue to follow the recommendations of the MDH and CDC.
- We will continue to offer the first MMR vaccine at 12 months of age, routinely given at the 12 month well check
- We will continue to recommend the booster vaccine after age 4 unless there is reason to consider earlier administration or if the recommendations change throughout the current outbreak
- We have no reason to recommend or administer the vaccine to anyone under 12 months of age, but if there is a particular concern for exposure, that should be discussed with the child’s health care provider
Winona Health highly encourages parents of any child over 12 months of age who has not received the MMR vaccine to consider immediate vaccination.
To schedule a well child check and immunizations, call the Winona Health Pediatrics department at 507.457.7607. Same-day appointments usually are available.