A sudden outbreak of measles cases has infected over 700 individuals across 20 states, including California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Measles is a highly contagious virus that can live for two hours on a surface or suspended in the air. It begins with cold-like symptoms and a rash and can develop into pneumonia or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) causing death.

Dr. Steven Abelowitz has been interviewed by several radio stations, explaining how measles can be prevented and if you have it, what you can do to avoid spreading it to others.

PLEASE SHARE THIS IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

:: What should I be looking for?
Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms: fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and a red or brownish blotchy rash that starts to develop on the head then spread to the rest of the body. A person can be contagious 4 days before showing symptoms.

:: When can my baby receive the Measles vaccine?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend children receive the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine at age 12-15 months, and again at 4-6 years. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
If you live in an area experiencing an outbreak, or if you are planning to travel internationally, your baby may be vaccinated as early as 6 months of age. Talk with your pediatrician about your options.

:: Where can my baby receive the Measles vaccine?
Call one of Coastal Kids’ offices to make an appointment to get your children protected against Measles:
• IRVINE: (949) 387-4900
• LADERA RANCH: (949) 347-7200
• LAGUNA HILLS: (949) 951-1376
• LAGUNA NIGUEL: (949) 448-8821
• NEWPORT BEACH: (949) 759-1720

:: What can I do to prevent it if my child is too young to receive the vaccine?
• Wash hands frequently
• Avoid large crowds
• Sanitize surfaces and objects
• Feed your baby breastmilk
• High immunization rates in a community protect those who are too young to be vaccinated, including infants under 12 months of age. In some cases, administration of the vaccine can be considered between 6-12 months of age.

DISCLAIMER: COASTAL KIDS IMMUNIZATION POLICY
Coastal Kids’ doctors are faced with the dilemma of protecting our patients and community from vaccine-preventable illnesses while respecting the personal and religious beliefs of our individual families. At Coastal Kids, we recommend and follow the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) vaccination schedule. However, if a parent requests an alternative schedule, we do our best to work individually with the parent while optimizing the health of the patient and community. Know more about Coastal Kids Immunization Policy: http://coastalkids.com/parent-resources/immunizations/