Medical Corner – Measles
MEDICAL CORNER by Captain Morgan Hahn
MeaslesMeasles, also known as Rubeola, was first described in the 9th century by an Arab physician who identified the disease as being different from smallpox. The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to fourteen days after a person is infected.
Measles typically begin with: ♦ high fever, up to 104° ♦ cough ♦ runny nose ♦ red, watery eyesThree to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. Usually beginning as flat red spots on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the rest of the body. After a few days the fever subsides and the rash fades. You may be hearing a lot about measles lately on TV, social media, and in the news. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has put together a list of the most important facts about measles. 1. Measles can be serious. Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than five. ♦ About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized ♦ 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage ♦ 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care
2. Measles is very contagious. Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they have not had the MMR shot. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he/she has the disease-from four days before developing the rash through four days afterward.
3. You have the power to protect your child against measles. Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 thanks to a highly effective vaccination program. Every year measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers who get measles while they are in other countries. Anybody who is not protected against measles is at risk. The best protection for yourself, your family, and friends is the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. www.cdc.gov/measles/about/