What to know about preventing the measles

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Coastal Health District officials say they are not worried about a potential measles outbreak impacting Chatham County as a new school year begins.

The state of Georgia is one of many states across the country that is experiencing an unusual increase in the number of measles cases. Georgia currently has seven confirmed cases of the measles, none of which are in the southeastern part of the state.

“The best thing to do to prevent the measles would be to get the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination,” says Chatham County Nurse Manager Tammi Brown. “If someone has had both doses of the MMR vaccine, they have up to 97 percent protection [from contracting it].”

The measles is an airborne illness that can linger in the air for two hours, even after someone who contracted the virus has left the room. A way to greater protect yourself is to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, says Brown.

The Georgia Department of Health requires students receive two MMR vaccines before they turn seven. School administration officials can see the vaccinations of a child through the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services.

The state, however, does allow for parents to opt out of getting their children immunized. Brown says the presence of unvaccinated children does not present a greater risk to vaccinated children they may come in contact with.

For more information about the measles and how to better protect your child, visit the CDC or Georgia Department of Health’s website.

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