Measles is a respiratory infection that is caused by a virus. It is highly communicable and very dangerous. 90% of those who are unimmunized and come in contact with the measles virus in the home will contract the disease.
Symptoms of measles is a blotchy rash, conjunctivitis, body aches, running nose, cough, small white spots with blue centers in the mouth and fever. The onset of measles begins with a mild to moderate fever and a runny nose. Cold like symptoms set in. Approximately three days after the initial symptoms present themselves, small white spots will appear in the mouth. Within two days a rash will appear that ranges in color from red to brown.
The measles rash typically begins at the hairline and radiates downward. It is possible to have a fever spike at over 104 degrees when the rash appears. Measles is sometimes considered the worst of all childhood diseases, and has led to fatalities and long term effects for many.
The measles virus mutated from a cattle disease to a human disease centuries ago and has been a plague to mankind since then. Long term complications from the measles occur often. Panencephalitis, a psycho neurological disease that deteriorates the brain tissue is common. Light sensitivity, eye issues, trouble moving and more can result from a measles infection.
Complications from a measles infection can include pneumonia, especially in infected children, which is the leading cause of death in those who have contracted the disease. 10% of those infected will suffer from severe diarrhea. Ear infections and permanent deafness have come about in 10% of those infected. When the measles virus leads to panencephalitis, permanent brain damage and deafness can result.
Measles Vaccination: An Absolute Necessity
The measles virus lives in the nose and throat and is spread by sneezing and coughing airborne pathogens. The virus only lives for two hours on an infected surface, but is easily contracted when patients touch counters, door knobs, etc.
9 to 12 days after exposure, a non-symptom incubation period begins. You are capable of spreading the disease 3 to 4 days before the initial rash appears and from 2 to 5 days following the appearance of the rash.
Those who are at the most risk of contracting measles include world travelers who visit endemic areas and immunodeficient children. In many foreign countries, the measles virus is not always well controlled and outbreaks have occurred. Worldwide, 1 million children die of complications from the measles, and in some countries where malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies are common, 1 in 4 people infected with the disease will die. The measles are the leading cause of blindness in African children. There is no treatment for the measles.
Top Rated NYC Physician
Traveling outside of USA and concerned about your health? Travel vaccinations are recommended for many destinations. Find out about the requirements and talk to a physician.
If you plan to travel, be sure you are up to date on your immunizations and boosters. You should be immunized at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to your departure date in order for the immunizations to take full effect. Even if you do not have 4 to 6 weeks until you plan on leaving the United States, it is very important that you still get inoculated. For more information on immunizations or to make an appointment to get your vaccines and booster shots, contact us today.