Renewed concerns over measles

Renewed concerns over measles

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - We’re hearing new concerns for an old illness making a return.

A generation of seniors had to deal with measles as children. Now, they wonder if the outbreak leaves them vulnerable.

Say the word “measles” to seniors who had them before vaccinations started, and the memories come rushing back.

“I was 12 or 13 at the time, and I remember everything because it was horrible...absolutely horrible,” Joan Mills said.

“Lasted about two weeks. Had a rash..high fever. Just felt horrible,” said Armenda Barnes.

An upsurge in modern measles cases has many people concerned if they’re susceptible to getting them again. Dr. Jeffrey Dockery from Southeast Health District says seniors who’ve had them once should be safe.

“The immune system is a robust part of our body, and it remembers well, so if we’ve been exposed to measles, for the most part, the immunity is there,” Dr. Dockery said.

Dockery says one group that could be at a slightly higher risk would be people a little younger than those seniors who might have gotten only one of two measles immunizations. The timelines for the shots changed during their childhood, and some people might have slipped through without the second vaccination.

“If you only received one vaccination, it is recommended that you absolutely get a second dose of the vaccine,” he said.

Both ladies say they’re glad they’re not considered a risk, but...

“I never want to have the measles again. If doctors said I needed another vaccination, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to do so,” Barnes said.

“I would get a shot if they told me I should,” Mills said.

Doctors and seniors alike say if you think you’ve got measles and you feel those symptoms, go to your doctor right away.

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