November 30, 2022

Parents: Don’t Forget About Measles and Whooping Cough

November 30, 2022

The Cambridge Public Health Department encourages all families to check to make sure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations.

With families hearing so much about getting their kids vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu, it’s easy to forget about other childhood illnesses.

School kids across the country–even here in Massachusetts–fell behind on routine immunizations during the pandemic. When fewer than 95% of children are vaccinated against childhood diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough, there can be outbreaks.

The good news is that while kindergarten vaccination rates dipped slightly in Massachusetts during the pandemic, they still remain above 95% for most diseases.

Meanwhile, flu season arrived early in Massachusetts, along with RSV, a highly contagious respiratory virus. COVID-19 levels are currently “low,” in the community, but that could change as we move into colder weather and spend more time indoors. Residents are strongly encouraged to get a flu shot and COVID-19 booster this fall. You can get both vaccines at local pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

While there is no vaccine for RSV, residents can help prevent its spread by staying home when sick, washing hands frequently, and cleaning high-touch surfaces. These basic hygiene measures can help prevent spreading other illnesses as well.