Measles (Rubeola) is responsible for more than one million deaths worldwide each year. It was once thought to be a disease of young school-age children, but now it often affects teenagers and young adults. In 1995, 39% of people affected in the United States were 20 years and older.

Mumps is mainly a disease of young children, but approximately 15 percent of reported cases occur among teens and adults. The Mumps vaccine is routinely administered as part of the MMR shot. Mumps vaccine is recommended for children, teens and susceptible.

Rubella (German Measles) is especially problematic for pregnant women. If a pregnant woman gets Rubella, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, she may miscarry; her baby may be born with birth defects, or even die. As many as twelve million women of childbearing age are unprotected from Rubella.


Visit the Web site of the Immunization Action Coalition to view their "Vaccine Information Statements" for further information about Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine.


Symptoms of Measles, Mumps and Rubella

Measles can cause a rash, cough, and fever. Even a mild case of the Measles can cause you to feel miserable, and be bedridden for 7 to 10 days. You can develop complications including: severe diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, seizures, encephalitis (infection of the brain), and death. A pregnant woman who contracts Measles is at increased risk for miscarriage or premature labor.

Mumps causes fever, headache, and swollen glands under the jaw. Pregnant women may be at risk for spontaneous abortions if they contract Mumps. It can also lead to: hearing loss, encephalitis (infection of the brain), meningitis (infection of the spinal cord coverings), and men can experience painful, swollen testicles. Rare complications include arthritis, kidney and pancreas problems, deafness, and inflammation of the thyroid gland and breasts. Although Mumps rarely leads to death, adults are at greater risk than children of dying from the disease.

Rubella can include an itchy rash, muscle pain, low-grade fever, swollen glands, and arthritis. Up to 10% of young adults are susceptible to the Rubella virus.


The Spread of Measles, Mumps and Rubella

Measles, Mumps and Rubella are highly contagious viruses spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or comes into contact with infected people or articles they have used. These viruses are contagious from five to nine days before the onset of symptoms.


Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine

Anyone who has not completed the immunization series for Measles, Mumps and Rubella should do so. Two doses of MMR vaccine generally provide lifelong protection and are required for entrance into post-secondary institutions in at least 29 states.

  • If you were born before 1940 you are exempt from mandatory Measles immunizations due to presumed exposure and therefore immunity.
  • If you were born between 1940 and 1957 you only need proof of one immunization after your first birthday.
  • If you were born after 1957 you need one immunization after your first birthday, and a second at least one month later.

The MMR vaccine is very safe. Occasionally, after injection mild reactions such as a fever, a rash or swelling of the salivary glands in the cheeks and neck area may occur. More serious adverse reactions are rare. The benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh the risks.


Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine Fee

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For additional information, please contact Rebecca Norwick at