The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children receive two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine – one between 12 and 15 months old and the second between 4 and 6 years old – to be fully protected against measles .
According to the CDC, two doses of vaccine are 97% effective against measles, while a dose of 93%. Vaccinated persons who still contract the disease usually have a less severe disease.
The agency recommends adults with no evidence of immunity to receive at least one dose of the vaccine. Doctors can test for immunity, but the CDC says it could cost more and require additional visits to the doctor and there was no harm in receiving another dose of the vaccine.
Signs and symptoms
It usually takes about two weeks from the time of exposure to the virus for a rash to develop, but it can take up to three weeks. People are contagious four to four days before the onset of rash and up to four days after its onset. They must seek medical treatment and isolate at home.
The rash starts on the face with red and flat spots and extends into the neck and trunk up to the rest of the body.
Other symptoms include fever over 101 degrees, coughing, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.
People with symptoms who think they have been exposed to the virus should call their healthcare provider before a visit so that precautions can be taken to avoid exposure of staff and other patients.
About one in four people who contract measles will be hospitalized and one in 1,000 will develop brain swelling due to an infection that can lead to brain damage. One or two out of 1000 people with measles will die, even with the "best care," said the CDC.