Measles – should you worry?

February 6, 2015

With all the hoopla surrounding the recent outbreak, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the Measles.  I have had several parents contact me, worried about their child contracting this disease.  Many of our clients believe that their child had an adverse reaction to vaccines and decided to discontinue the recommended vaccine schedule.  The following information is taken directly from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website.  I always say information is power.  Sometimes, we don't know where to look to get that information, nor do we know what questions to ask.  Here's what the CDC has to say:

measlesWhat are the symptoms of Measles?

The symptoms of Measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.

Measles typically begins with:

High fever,
Runny nose (coryza), and
Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).
Measles Rash

Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.

Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.

After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.

Click here to read the Vaccine Information Statement

How is the Measles transmitted?

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, Measles virus can live for up to two hours on a surface or in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

Infected people can spread Measles to others from four days before, to four days after the rash appears.

Measles is a disease of humans--Measles virus is not spread by any other animal species.

What are the complications associated with the Measles?

Measles can be serious in all age groups. However, children younger than 5 years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are more likely to suffer from Measles complications.

Common Complications

Common Measles complications include ear infections and diarrhea.

Ear infections occur in about one out of every 10 children with Measles and can result in permanent hearing loss.
Diarrhea is reported in less than one out of 10 people with Measles.

Severe Complications

Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). They may need to be hospitalized and could die.

As many as one out of every 20 children with Measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from Measles in young children.
About one child out of every 1,000 who get Measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions, and can leave the child deaf or mentally retarded.
For every 1,000 children who get Measles, one or two will die from it.
Measles may cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.


Vaccine injectionWhat are my choices for getting the Measles vaccine?

Click here to learn about the MMR (Mumps, Measles & Rubella) and the MMRV (Mumps, Measles, Rubella, & Varicella)


What are the ingredients in the vaccines?

Medium 199, Minimum Essential Medium, phosphate, recombinant human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts
December, 2010

MMRV (ProQuad)
Sucrose, hydrolyzed gelatin, sorbitol, monosodium L-glutamate, sodium phosphate dibasic, human albumin, sodium bicarbonate, potassium phosphate monobasic, potassium chloride, potassium phosphate dibasic, neomycin, bovine calf serum, chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts, MRC-5 cells
August, 2011

Who should not get the vaccines?

MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella ) vaccine.  Some people should not get MMR vaccine or should wait.

  • Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of MMR vaccine, should not get the vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
  • Anyone who had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of MMR or MMRV vaccine should not get another dose.
  • Some people who are sick at the time the shot is scheduled may be advised to wait until they recover before getting MMR vaccine.
  • Pregnant women should not get MMR vaccine. Pregnant women who need the vaccine should wait until after giving birth. Women should avoid getting pregnant for 4 weeks after vaccination with MMR vaccine.
  • Tell your doctor if the person getting the vaccine:
    • Has HIV/AIDS, or another disease that affects the immune system
    • Is being treated with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids
    • Has any kind of cancer
    • Is being treated for cancer with radiation or drugs
    • Has ever had a low platelet count (a blood disorder)
    • Has gotten another vaccine within the past 4 weeks
    • Has recently had a transfusion or received other
      blood products
      *****Any of these might be a reason to not get the vaccine, or delay vaccination until later.

Children should not get MMRV vaccine if they:

  • Have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of MMRV vaccine, or to either MMR or varicella vaccine.
  • Have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine, including gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin. Tell the doctor if your child has any severe allergies.
  • Have HIV/AIDS, or another disease that affects the immune system.
  • Are being treated with drugs that affect the immune system, including high doses of oral steroids for 2 weeks or longer
  • Have any kind of cancer
  • Are being treated for cancer with radiation or drugs
  • Check with your doctor if the child:
    • Has a history of seizures, or has a parent, brother or sister with a history of seizures.
    • Has a parent, brother or sister with a history of immune system problems.
    • Has ever had a low platelet count, or another blood disorder.
    • Recently had a transfusion or received other blood products.
    • Might be pregnant.

Children who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should usually wait until they recover before getting MMRV vaccine. Children who are only mildly ill may usually get the vaccine.

Ask your doctor for more information.

Questions to ponder:

If my child's immune system is underdeveloped until the age of 2, is it beneficial for the live viruses to be injected at such an early age?

If I have a history of auto-immune disorders in my family, should I be concerned?  

What is considered a mild illness?

If the MMR vaccine is 97% effective after the 2nd dose, why are people who have been vaccinated still contracting the measles?

Can I get the Measles vaccine in isolation?  (This is a question I cannot find the answer to)

If Measles is a virus, can it mutate and change once someone is infected (like the flu vaccine)?

When was the last time the formulas for the MMR and/or the MMRV were changed (the dates for the ingredients from the CDC website are from 2010/2011)?

For more questions to consider about vaccines in general, click here. 

Vaccine schedule history

Vaccine schedule history


It doesn't matter to me which side of the fence you are on when it comes to vaccines.  However, I do think we need to know more about what we are putting in our children's bodies.    With 1 in 6 having a developmental disability and 50% of children with chronic illness, we need to ask the questions and demand answers.  The vaccine schedule has more than tripled since the 1980's.  If vaccines are not contributing to the rise in childhood diseases and disorders, what is?



185 S. Marley Rd. New Lenox, IL 60451