Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus that grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and lungs. Symptoms last for about seven days and include a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Complications can include diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, seizures and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), developing countries that are struggling with malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency, have had a growing problem with measles. In these areas it has been known to kill as many as one out of four people. It is the leading cause of blindness among African children and kills almost 1 million children in the world each year.
The mumps is an acute viral illness. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and swelling of your salivary and parotid salivary glands. Your parotid salivary glands are located within your cheek, near your jaw line and below your ears. While complicates are rare, mumps can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, spontaneous abortion and permanent deafness.
Also more commonly known as “German Measles,” rubella is an acute viral disease that causes a fever and rash for two to three days. It is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing.
The MMR combination vaccine protects children from measles, mumps, and rubella. The first dose of the vaccine is usually given to children 12 to 15 months old. The second dose follows when the child is between 4 and 6 years of age.
You should be vaccinated if you have not had a blood test that shows you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella or if you have not already had two doses of MMR or one dose of MMR plus an additional measles vaccine.
This vaccine is not only for younger children but can also apply if: