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The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is encouraging parents to get their children immunized for measles right away. CDC is encouraging Americans to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland in December, saying that 2014 saw the highest number of cases in two decades.

So far more than 90 people have been diagnosed with measles in California and elsewhere. Most of the cases were linked to an outbreak that public health officials feel began when an infected person from outside the United States visited Disneyland in Anaheim between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20.

The most common symptoms include:

  • A high temperature, sore eyes (conjunctivitis), and a runny nose usually occur first.
  • Small white spots usually develop inside the mouth a day or so later. These can persist for several days.
  • A harsh dry cough may also be present.
  • Loss of appetite, tiredness, and aches and pains are common.
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting may be present.
  • A red blotchy rash normally develops about 3-4 days after the first symptoms. It usually starts on the head and neck, and spreads down the body. It takes 2-3 days to cover most of the body. The rash may turn to a brownish color and gradually fades.
  • Children are usually miserable for 3-5 days. After this, the fever tends to ease, and then the rash fades. Other symptoms gradually ease up.

Most children are better within 7-10 days. An irritating cough may persist for several days after other symptoms have gone.

The best way to prevent Measles is with an MMR shot. These shots are available through the Texas Vaccines for Children program. Parents are encourage to begin getting the children shots before their second birthday. Pasadena Health Center has the MMR available for parents who qualify for just $5 plus an office visit. The center is open Monday- Friday.