Locally and nationally, multiple individuals have been diagnosed with the measles and flu virus. In Monroe County, there have been seven cases of the measles and two deaths from the flu this year. Vaccination protection can be extremely important to an individual’s life and vulnerable individuals with whom they come in contact, especially when involving seniors and children.
Vaccinations are a medical resource that help the body fight off and develop immunities against the illnesses.
The measles is a highly contagious disease that is typically considered a childhood disease, but can be contracted at any age. Symptoms include runny nose, high fever, cough, conjunctivitis and rash. Any individual that has received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine before Jan. 1, 1957, are immune and have a low risk of being infected.
The flu virus can have multiple strains each year. The vaccination exposes the body to as many strains as possible. Flu symptoms can include fever, chills, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, fatigue and vomiting/diarrhea. The virus, if not properly treated, can turn into pneumonia.
Both illnesses can result in death.
Caregivers and families should talk to their health care provider about having their senior loved one, child and/or self vaccinated to prevent the measles and flu virus. Check with your doctor’s office, local pharmacy or grocery store. Many of these institutions will provide shots without an appointment.
“Make sure to wash your hands, not touch your face, stay home when you are not feeling well, and to consider getting yourself and family vaccinated,” said Katrina Rudolph, director of nursing at the Baird Nursing Home. “The measles and the flu virus can turn into a deadly illness, especially in children and elders. Vaccinations can allow your body to build an immunity to these types of viruses and can save lives.”