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Did You Have Your Measles Vaccination?

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About 3 out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.( http://www.cdc.gov/measles/vaccination.html)

How Do Vaccines Work?

The diseases, like measles, that vaccines prevent can be dangerous, or even deadly. Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body's natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to disease.

When germs, such as bacteria or viruses, invade the body, they attack and multiply. This invasion is called an infection, and the infection is what causes illness. The immune system then has to fight the infection. Once it fights off the infection, the body is left with a supply of cells that help recognize and fight that disease in the future.

Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection, but this "imitation" infection does not cause illness. It does, however, cause the immune system to develop the same response as it does to a real infection so the body can recognize and fight the vaccine-preventable disease in the future. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.

For vaccine recommendations for children under age 6 download this handy PDF vaccination chart and this comprehensive parent's guide to childhood immunizations.

To find a physician for your child or your family immunizations call 800-494-5264(LCMH).