The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported many cases of mumps and measles since 2017 began. Many still have doubts about possible adverse effects of vaccines, but the MMR vaccine remains to be the number one weapon against the measles, mumps, and rubella.
The number of afflicted individuals is continuing to rise especially in Texas, where the number of cases has grown to reach 1994's record of 234 cases and leading experts to warn the public about the biggest mumps outbreak in 22 years.
What's more, the end of March saw 500 cases of measles in Europe as well, where 17 children have already reportedly died in Romania since September. In these cases, it is said to be poverty and the anti-vaccination movement that is contributing to the rise of these highly contagious diseases.
What You Need To Know About MMR
Measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles) are serious sicknesses that are highly contagious and can lead to serious complications such as brain damage, painful swelling of the ovaries or testicles, meningitis, miscarriages, and even death.
The Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is a safe way of preventing the three viruses. The CDC stresses that the vaccine is very safe to use but, as with most medications, has side effects that will fade over a short period of time such as arm soreness, rashes, mild fever, and temporary soreness of the joints.
Among children, the first dosage of MMR should be given at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 to 6 years. Adults born after 1956 are also advised to have at least one dose of the vaccine.
MMR is an attenuated live virus vaccine which works by infecting the person with a weakened version of the virus, causing the body to fight off the infection before being eliminated from the body. Once eliminated, the body is left immune to the virus.
Considerations Before Getting The Vaccine
Although MMR is an important part of virus prevention, people who have previously had severe allergic reactions to neomycin or any other component of the MMR vaccine should not take it. Further, people who are currently sick or are pregnant should wait until after recovery and giving birth before being vaccinated. However, minor sicknesses such as a fever or chickenpox should not be a cause of delay for taking the vaccine.
The CDC also suggests that any unvaccinated individuals, especially infants and children, who will be traveling internationally should get the MMR vaccine.
Two doses of the MMR vaccine have been seen to be 97 percent effective against measles and 88 percent effective in preventing mumps, while one dose of the vaccine has proven to be 93 percent effective against mumps, 78 percent effective against measles, and 97 percent effective against rubella.