Measles continues to be a health threat

September 03, 1991|By Alyssa Gabbay

With approximately 27,000 cases occurring in 1990, measles is again a health problem in the United States.

Baltimore has not escaped the epidemic unscathed: In 1990, there were 93 cases of measles reported in the city. This spring, however, only about 13 were reported -- a drop that Dr. John Santelli, director of School and Adolescent Health Services for Baltimore City's health department, attributes to increased parental concern.

In recent years, some parents had failed to immunize their 15-month-old children against measles, mumps and rubella, as is recommended, he said.

Doctors also have discovered that the first immunization shot does not always protect a patient against measles for life as was once believed. Many doctors now recommend that children receive booster shots as they enter elementary school or middle school.

Potentially fatal, measles is first marked by cold-like symptoms, which may gradually worsen, into a rash and a fever between 103 to 105 degrees.

For information about free measles vaccines, call Baltimore City's Immunization Program at 396-4454.

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