MISSOULA – The Missoula City-County Health Department, in conjunction with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, is strongly encouraging all community members to check their measles immunization status. Currently there are no cases of measles in the state but outbreaks in the Northwest have health officials on high alert.
The MMR vaccine is used to protect against measles. People can request their MMR immunization record from their primary care physician or other vaccine provider. Additionally they can also request their records from their local health department.
Symptoms: Measles starts with a fever, followed by a cough, runny nose and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out, starting at the head and spreading to the rest of the body. The rash can last for a week, and coughing can last for 10 days.
A person can get measles just by being in a room where someone with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left. An infected person can spread measles to others even before he or she develops symptoms — from four days before they develop the measles rash through four days afterward.
The Missoula City-County Health Department, located at 301 West Alder St., carries the MMR vaccine and can bill most insurance plans, including Medicaid. They offer a sliding fee scale for those who are uninsured or underinsured. Call the vaccination clinic at 406-258-3363 for more information on MMR shots.