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Measles

Should I be worried about the measles stuff going around?

I try to understand– I had vaccines, my son did.. But we know a family who doesnt do vaccines and they travel alot and have young kids and visit a person who has cancer and chemo and in the hospital alot. So what if they got it? And Im on prednisone long-term– 20mg per day on average and that is an immunosuppressant. So I read that people can get measles even if theyve been vaccinated especially if they are on immunosuppressants.

I dont want to be paranoid but I get a little nervous about it. Is there a precaution I should take? Can I get tested to see if the immunity is in me strong or get re-vaccinated? 

Does anyone else share this worry or have any info?

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  • Melissa G

    I would put a call into your dr and see what they say. You can have your titers checked. 

    We have had similar issues here and I worry about Bekah. The dr's have reassured me that Bekah has had her vaccines. 

  • LK

    Shea, you probably already read this on the Mayo Clinic website but wanted to post the link anyway.

    It says, in part, that "In fact, more than 93 percent of people who get the first dose of MMR develop immunity to measles. After the second dose, about 97 percent of people are protected."

    Found this on the CDC website.  Lots of information.

  • Shea

    I guess where I get confused is… I found info saying: 

    "Prednisone may cause you to get more infections than usual. Avoid people who are sick or have infections and wash your hands often. If you are exposed to chickenpox or measles, tell your doctor right away. If you start to have a fever, chills, sore throat, or any other sign of an infection, call your doctor right away

    While you are being treated with prednisone, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Prednisone may lower your body's resistance and the vaccine may not work as well or you might get the infection the vaccine is meant to prevent. In addition, you should not be around other persons living in your household who receive live virus vaccines because there is a chance they could pass the virus on to you. Some examples of live vaccines include measles, mumps, influenza (nasal flu vaccine), poliovirus (oral form), rotavirus, and rubella. Do not get close to them and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor."

     

    So I just couldn't understand if you have been vaccinated as a child, but are on prednisone now (long-term, higher doses) then are you more susceptible to measles and if so how much moreso?

     

  • LK

    Very good question Shea.  It seems to say that if you have already been vaccinated then you are protected but if you are also on prednisone, then you have a chance of getting the virus.  

    I know what you mean about being on long-term pred and how it lowers your immune system but I looked, too, and couldn't find anything specific on it either.  Guess we just have to ask our doctors and see what they say.  I imagine there are so many variables like what dose of prednisone, other health issues each person has, how close to the person who possibly has measles, etc. that each situation is specific to each person. 

  • Shea

    I couldnt find anything clarifying either– I will bring it up at my next appointment.

    One of my friend's kids had a rash and I didnt think anything about my contact or anything l– was hugging and just ignoring any little coughs and hes a toddler so you know how theyre just so cute but sloppy but you dont typically care much at all … It didnt dawn on me until later… because all this measles stuff is in the news lately… And then it just was making me anxious and kinda kicking myself for not being more reserved and careful because measles is supposed to be pretty bad and especially if you are immunocompromised… And I truly doubt he has it but since they arent vaccinated and have been on planes lately and its easy to pick up if you arent vaccinated abd he had a rash– I just got anxious. But I really think I dont need to be and Im mosy likely protected by my vaccine but I will be a little more cautious in the meantime. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, hugs … I know the worry about whether you're properly vaccinated or not while on immunosuppressant drugs.

    I love the advice you've gotten — checking with your doctor and asking if you need your titers pulled. This will help check your CURRENT level of protection with your prednisone. And if your protection is low, then another dose of vaccine can possibly be administered.

    My daughter's godfather was a kidney transplant recipient, so his doctors were very keen that he had all of his vaccinations. Still, the powerful immunosuppressant drugs he was on diminished his body's response to vaccines. 

    Sometimes he had to have titers pulled for various levels after he had a vaccination so that they could see his body's immune response. If it wasn't high enough, then they would go back a bit later and give him another vaccine. 

  • Shea

    Thanks for the info, Lisa and Cynthia! 

    I will definitely ask the doctor. I might not be able to get the vaccine again on the prednisone– I know I had all my shots– and I am not at such a super high level or on things like cytoxan like I was pn in tbe padt that REALLY lower things.. So I feel like I am PROBABLY protected BUT I like the idea of seeing if I can be tested for how protected I am and hearing about risks and options. 

  • StephM

    And, if you are comfortable, I'd consider sharing the fact that you are vulnerable to contagious illnesses prevented by vaccines to any families you interact with regularly who have with under/unvaccinated kids. 

    Sometimes they need to have a face to the "people who are immunocompromised" to nudge them into catching up or getting core vaccines. Tell them about the scare and that you had to get in touch with your MD after you realized you had contact with a kid who had a rash and cough.  But, I know that some are rather fervent… so it's not always an option.

  • Shea

    I know the family has gotten stuff from others in the past, and Im not trying to sway them at all in their decision. Im a believer that we dhould all have freedom to choose. I really think that since Ive been vaccinated already that I am good– the people who have to worry are the ones that werent able to get the vaccines in youth and now cant due to being immunocompromised… Which puts them at a double disadvantage…. At least that is what Ive been putting together. The family knows in general that I am on immunosuppressants and to be more conservative like if anyone is sick or been around sickness (especially during flu season) then we just reschedule.