The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed two cases of measles at two Boston-area hospitals.
Now physicians from across the state, including here in Western Mass, are reaffirming the importance of the measles vaccination.
Those two cases were diagnosed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Metrowest Hospital in Framingham.
Now Baystate Medical Center in Springfield is one of many hospitals in the state reminding patients to be vaccinated.
Doctors at Baystate Medical Center said the measles is an infection of the respiratory system.
Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a skin rash.
Doctors also said the virus periodically circles throughout the state, and that's why it is so important to be vaccinated.
"Vaccination is actually our only protection. Because it's a virus, we don't have any medication to treat it. The only way to manage it is to prevent it. The measles mumps vaccine is very effective. We very rarely have cases because the vaccination has been so effective," said Dr. Sarah Haessler, infectious disease specialist at Baystate Medical Center.
The Mass Department of Public Health said children should receive their firstdose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months. School-aged children need two doses of the MMR vaccine.
They also reminded adults they should have at least one dose of the MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, healthcare workers and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered to be immune to measles from past exposures.
If you happened to visit Mass General or Metrowest Hospital and are showing symptoms of the measles, you are asked to contact your healthcare provider.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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