What to know about Measles for pre-conception and pregnancy!
Measles outbreaks are becoming more frequent due to decreasing vaccination rates. A measles infection during pregnancy can have devastating effects including breathing difficulty or brain damage as well as risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, or congenital measles infection.
Measles is a highly contagious virus spread via respiratory droplets and air. The virus can survive for up to two hours in a space even after an infected person has left.
Most people are immune to measles due to the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine. Two doses of MMR vaccine are 97% effective. We routinely check for immunity to Rubella during early pregnancy. If you are immune to rubella you are likely also immune to Measles, however, IF YOU HAVE A POSSIBLE EXPOSURE TO MEASLES PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE RIGHT AWAY. If you are found to be non-immune AND have had an exposure you may need treatment with IVIG.
The CDC lists the most recent outbreaks for Measles. There are several outbreaks currently in Washington state and within the US. If you are pregnant we recommend avoiding travel to these areas if possible. Please talk with your provider if you have any questions.
If you are currently considering pregnancy or trying to conceive we can check your rubella immunity with a blood draw. If non-immune, we recommend an MMR vaccine. It is important to wait 4 weeks after getting the MMR vaccine before attempting pregnancy.
UW Department of OB/GYN Consensus Statement 4/2019: www.uwmedicine.org/sites/stevie/files/2019-04/UW_Measles-in-pregnancy-consensus.pdf