Our office is following the latest recommendations from the Maryland Department of Health regarding the Measles outbreak. Please see below:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) routinely recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine: the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.
• MDH continues to recommend that healthcare providers consider modifications to the routine MMR vaccine schedule for patients who might be at increased risk of measles exposure through either travel to areas outside of Maryland with measles outbreaks or contact with visitors from these areas. (These areas include: Rockland County, NY; New York City; Washington State; Santa Cruz County and Butte County, CA; New Jersey; Michigan; Israel, Ukraine; Philipines)
• MDH no longer considers living, working, or attending activities in Maryland zip codes 21208, 21209, or 21215 to lead to increased risk of measles exposure. Therefore, MDH no longer recommends that healthcare providers consider modifications to the routine MMR vaccine schedule for those who live, work, or attend activities in Maryland zip codes 21208, 21209, and 21215 (unless they have increased risk for measles exposure through travel to an areas outside of Maryland with measles outbreaks or contact with visitors from these areas).
For patients who might be at increased risk of measles exposure, healthcare providers should consider the
Children 6‐11 months old: Give an initial MMR vaccine to children 6 months through 11 months. These
children will still need two additional doses at least 28 days apart on or after the first birthday.
Children 1-3 years: Give a second dose of MMR vaccine to children 1 year through 3 years of age who have already received their first MMR vaccine, as long as 28 days have passed since the first MMR
vaccine was given to them. These children do not need an additional, third dose of vaccine as long as the
child received both vaccines after the 1st birthday given at least 28 days apart.
Children 4-17 years: If not already given, give a second dose of MMR vaccine as soon as possible, as
long as 28 days have passed since the first MMR vaccine.
Please see hours for vaccine administration on the website.
“While the outbreak is currently localized to a small area of the state, the best way to prevent measles in Maryland, or anywhere people might travel, is through vaccination,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Frances B. Phillips, RN, MHA. “We continue to encourage all Marylanders to get vaccinated or check with their health care providers to ensure they and their families are up-to-date on vaccinations.”
Maryland case count information and a list of all of the public exposure locations can be found on the MDH site here.
The MDH recommends the following for people who might have been exposed to measles:
If you are healthy and know you have had two doses of MMR vaccine, you do not need to take any additional actions
- If your immune system is currently weakened by disease or medications, even if you have received two doses of MMR vaccine, call your health care provider right away and tell them you might have been exposed to measles as you might need a medication called immune globulin
- If you know you have NOT received two doses of MMR vaccine, or if you aren’t sure whether or not you have received two doses of MMR vaccine, call your health care provider right away to determine next steps since you might need a dose of MMR vaccine or a medication called immune globulin
- Monitor for possible symptoms of measles, such as fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and rash, and call your health care provider before visiting their office so they can make special arrangements to evaluate you, if needed, without putting other patients and medical office staff at risk
Measles is a contagious vaccine-preventable viral infection which is easily spread to unvaccinated persons through coughing, sneezing and secretions from the mouth. The measles virus may remain in the air for up to two hours. Measles symptoms typically develop 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus but can develop as soon as seven days or as long as 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms of measles are fever more than 101F, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes. Usually, one to four days after the early symptoms, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. A person with measles is contagious beginning four days before the rash appears until four days after the rash begins.
Those who are most at risk of complications from measles infection include pregnant women, infants less than one year old and those who are immune compromised.
If you or your family member needs MMR vaccine, first check with your health care provider. If your health care provider does not have MMR vaccine available, you can reach out to your pharmacist to see if they carry it. In Maryland, a pharmacist may administer any vaccines included in the CDC’s recommended Immunization Schedule to individuals ages 11 to 17 who have a prescription. For those age 18 years or older, prescriptions are not required to administer vaccines as long as they are one of the adult vaccines listed by the CDC. For information about pricing and insurance reimbursement, check with your pharmacist and insurance provider.
Additional information is available on the MDH website at https://health.maryland.gov/measles.