Measles cases increase, what should adults know about their risk?

Health News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It was a disease that was all but eliminated 20 years ago in the U.S., but now there are more than 600 cases of measles reported nationwide

That includes six cases in Georgia.

“You could catch it, it’s a highly contagious disease,” said Chatham County Nurse Manager Tammi Brown.

Brown said that many people age 62 and older (born in 1957 or later) are probably immune because it’s assumed many of those adults had the measles. That’s because a vaccine wasn’t developed until 1958.

The nurse manager said it is, of course, possible that someone older than 62 did not have the measles.

In that case, she said someone should verify if it’s possible they might have had the measles. If they don’t know, she advises getting the measles vaccine.  

Brown also said even those who were born after 1957 and who had the vaccine may benefit from a booster shot.

“In Georgia, we have an immunization registry so they could try and get a copy of their vaccination records to see if they’ve had the vaccine,” said Brown. “If not, they could reach out to their physician and they could possibly do a booster. And if they’re unsure the CDC does recommend they just go ahead and get another dose, it’s safe to do that.”

Brown says when in doubt, found out and get a shot if necessary.  She says that’s because measles is a very contagious disease. “It usually starts with a high fever which can put someone at risk for lots of other things,” says Brown.

she advises adults who are concerned to find out if they were immunized or to visit their doctor for a blood test which can tell them if they ever had measles. 

“It’s a vaccine-preventable disease, so it’s very easy to go to your healthcare provider to get the vaccine. No one should get the measles,” she says.

Brown does say there are those who cannot get a vaccination which includes infants, those with auto-immune issues and pregnant women.

The Health Department offers some additional advice:

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