Facts and Stats on Measles
Due to a recent outbreak, measles has been in the news lately. This once common viral illness is now less common if not rare as a result of the widespread use of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Unfortunately, with vaccination rates declining, measles and other preventable illnesses are making a comeback. Within the first month of the New Year approximately 68 cases of measles have been confirmed across 11 states. In 2014 644 cases of measles were confirmed across 27 states.
Measles is an extremely contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is spread through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red and or inflamed eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a blotchy rash that spreads all over the body. About three out of ten people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Complications are more common in adults and young children. Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been decreasing worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5. If you believe you child has the measles or has been in contact with someone who has please contact our office right away.
Once infected, no treatment can rid of an established measles infection. However, some measures can be taken to protect vulnerable individuals who have been exposed to the virus. For non-vulnerable patients the best form of treatment is supportive care. This includes fever reducers, fluids, and rest.The best way to protect your child is by making sure he or she receives the MMR vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC recommend a dose after the first birthday and a between the ages of 4 and 6 years old. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective. If you have questions about your child’s vaccination status, the MMR vaccine or the measles virus, please call our office
For more information on measles, check out http://www.cdc.gov/measles
For more information on the MMR vaccine, check out here http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mmr.pdf
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