Here's Why Your Child Absolutely Needs the Measles Vaccine in 2018

Doctor injecting vaccination in arm of asian little child girl
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There have been 107 individual cases of measles in 2018.

As of July 14, the CDC has reported 107 individual cases of measles in the U.S.—specifically, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

In 2017, there were a total of 118 reports of measles. With 2018 already setting up to surpass that number, now is the time to get your child vaccinated.

Though it may be a sensitive subject for some parents, we're breaking down the facts on the vaccine, why your child needs it, and more.

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What Is Measles?

According to the CDC, measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever.

It's symptoms include:

• Cough, runny nose, and red eyes

• Rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spread to the rest of the body

• Diarrhea

• Ear infection

It's also rather easily spread from person to person, as it can be transmitted through the air when someone with the virus breathes, coughs, or sneezes. This makes it highly contagious. Not to mention, you can catch it before a person even knows they have measles.

How Serious Is the Virus?

If you're not vaccinated against the virus, measles can be rather dangerous. This is especially true for babies and younger children. It can lead to pneumonia, lifelong brain damage, deafness, and even death.

It's not difficult to get the vaccine, so make sure everyone in your family is up-to-date on their immunization records.

What Is the Measles Vaccine?

The measles-mumps-rubella shot (also called the MMR shot) protects against measles.

Here's what it does:

• Protects your child from measles, mumps, and rubella

• Prevents your child from getting an uncomfortable rash and high fever from measles

• Keeps your child from missing school or child care

What Are the Side Effects of the MMR Shot?

Though side effects from the shot aren't common, there can be very minor ones. Some of the side effects include a fever, rash, soreness or swelling where the shot was given, or temporary pain and stiffness in the joints.

There are some more serious side effects, which include a high fever that could cause a seizure, but those are very rare.

Contrary to popular belief, there also is no link between autism and the MMR shot.

What Else Should My Child Be Vaccinated For?

Before your child enters kindergarten, there are a long list of vaccines they need. And it's also required by law that they're vaccinated. See the full list of vaccinations they need here.