With measles being one of the leading causes of death among young children, with close to 13 children dying every hour around the world, LiveMD wants you to have all of the important facts on this disease to help keep you and your children safe.
What is Measles?
Measles is a very highly contagious, viral disease. It is most common in children, although it can affect anyone of any age. It is spread through direct contact with bodily secretions or through the air when a person coughs or sneezes. Measles first begins to affect the mucus membranes and then continues to spread throughout the body.
What are the Symptoms of Measles?
After exposure to the virus, it can sometimes take up to 2 weeks for symptoms of infection to begin to appear. The first symptoms to appear are usually fever, sore throat, runny nose, coughing, white spots inside the mouth and red eyes. These symptoms usually last 3 to 5 days and are followed by a blotchy, red rash. The rash usually begins on the face and slowly progresses, over the course of a few days, down the body towards the feet. This rash will last for about a week. As this rash begins to heal, it will recede first from the feet and move up the body, with the neck, face and head being the last places affected. Measles can lead to other complications such as a high fever, bronchitis or encephalitis.
Is Measles a Preventable Disease?
The measles vaccine was first developed in the early 1980’s. Prior to vaccination, this disease was responsible for close to 3 million deaths each year. Great efforts have been taken worldwide to ensure that as many children as possible are vaccinated however measles still remains the leading cause of death in young children. By ensuring that your child receives the measles vaccine you are protecting them from contracting this disease.
If you suspect that your child has contracted measles it is important to check your family health records to see if your child has been vaccinated in the past and to visit a doctor right away. Since measles is extremely contagious and can be spread to others very easily, it is important to keep your child quarantined and away from other children. The disease is contagious for approximately 8 days, 4 days before the rash develops and for 4 days after the rash has started.
Measles can lead to serious health complications and even death and for those reasons it is very important to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that your child may be infected. Getting vaccinated at an early age is an excellent way to prevent this illness and to help stop it from spreading and infecting others.
The doctors at LiveMD have the answers to all of your healthcare questions and can help you provide the best possible care for your family without having to leave your home. If you have concerns and would like immediate answers, we are here to help you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit www.mylivemd.com today.
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