CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -Several states that border Ohio have reported measles cases to the Centers for Disease Control which means it is only a matter of time before a case could be reported in the Buckeye state.
Currently there are positive cases in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.
“Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected,” according to the CDC’s website.
“It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours 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, noses, or mouths, they can become infected.”
Dr. Amy Edwards, who is the Associate Medical Director of Pediatric Infection Control for Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, wants to make sure everyone is protected against measles.
“The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you is to make sure you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine," Edwards said.
There are two categories of people who may want to check with their doctor right away for another dose.
“The CDC is officially saying that anyone vaccinated between I think it is 1963 and 1967, needs to be vaccinated because that was a weaker vaccine than the one we use now,” Edwards said.
The other group is anyone who got the vaccine prior to 1989.
According to Edwards it wasn’t until 1989 that two does of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) were given to children.
“We know that a single dose is less effective so it is possible that some adults need a second dose. Check with your doctor to be sure,” Edwards said.
For those who don’t want to get another MMR, because there are mild side effects like low grade fever, pain at injection site and sometimes a rash, you can have a test run to see if you’re immune.
Requesting a titers test from your doctor, can determine your immunity to certain diseases.
Titers is a blood test that can determine the amount of antibodies in your blood protecting you from measles.