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In response to the confirmation of two cases of measles in Denver, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is supplying extra MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) to county health departments as part of a public health response to control the spread of the disease.
“With a second case of measles with fairly wide exposure, there could be additional cases that could spread to and within our communities,” Larimer County Health Department Immunization Program supervisor Nancy Tippin said. “Measles can be prevented by the MMR vaccine. This is an important time to check your immunization records to be sure you and your family are up-to-date and protected.”
MMR vaccines will be available at the Health Department’s Immunization Clinics in Loveland and Fort Collins beginning June 17. Vaccine is available for adults and children who do not have a history of having had measles or two doses of MMR. Most people born before 1957 are considered immune.
Cost of the vaccine is $20 regardless of insurance status during this time and payment will be required at the time of service, but no one will be turned away if unable to pay the full price. You can also receive MMR from your primary care provider; check with your doctor for cost and availability.
Measles virus is highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that spreads when a person sneezes or coughs. It can cause complications including pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). In unvaccinated pregnant women, measles also can cause miscarriage or premature birth. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. A rash usually begins two to four days after the onset of other symptoms and starts on a person’s face at the hairline and then spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet.
Measles is still common in other countries and the potential exists for outbreaks in the U.S.
For information about the Larimer County Health Department’s Immunization Program, including hours and locations, visit www.larimer.org/health