Measles also called rubella, is a virus. In small children it can be seriously dangerous if not fatal. There is a immunization that you can get that will prevent you from ever getting the Measles. In the United States most children are vaccinated against measles in early childhood.
The trouble with Measles is when you are contagious, you may not even know you have the Measles yet. So you won’t have taken the isolation precautions to keep it from spreading. The Measles virus spreads through droplets, so if someone who is infected with the virus, sneezes, coughs, ,or even talks they can spread the virus. The Measles are highly contagious. You become contagious before some of the symptoms even occur.
Symptoms of Measles are fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes, and a skin rash. There are different stages of this virus. The virus will last about two to three weeks.
The first stage is becoming infected, this is when the virus starts to incubate and you will show no signs or symptoms, this will last for the first ten to fourteen days.
After this initial stage you may experience two or three days of mild symptoms, with fever or runny nose.
After this the rash will appear. The rash will look like small red spots in tight clusters to give the skin a patchy red appearance. First your face will break out, then it will spread throughout the rest of the body. As the rash spreads, your fever will rise as well. This period of time from a couple days before the rash appears to about four days after the rash first appears is when you are most contagious. That is why this virus can spread so quickly before it is diagnosed. It is said that ninety percent of people who haven’t gotten the immunization who come into contact with an infected person will become infected.
The people who are most susceptible to getting the measles are someone who hasn’t been vaccinated, traveling internationally, or having a vitamin A deficiency. Lots of foreign places who don’t have regular vaccines have a higher risk factor of catching the disease.
To prevent getting the Measles it is important to be vaccinated. Most anyone born before 1957 living in the United States is already immune to the Measles virus because they simply have already had it. Otherwise for everyone else the vaccine is available. The vaccine is given to you as an infant then you receive a second dose vaccine when you are about four to six years old. Another way to help prevent getting the Measles, is isolation. If someone has the virus for them to be separated from anyone who hasn’t had the virus is important. It is so contagious as previously mentioned ninety percent of people who come into contact with an infected person will become infected. That is a huge percentage.
If you are exposed to the Measles virus and you haven’t been vaccinated before being exposed you can be given the immunization within 72 hours of exposure, this will provide protection against the disease. You can still contract the virus and have symptoms but your symptoms should be less severe. Other treatments will just help lessen the symptoms, fever reducers, antibiotics etc.
Measles Cases Up
Over the last few years cases of Measles have increased. In 2000-2010 there were only about 60 cases per year. Recently in the last few years that number has spiked to 205 cases per year. This is relatively due to the amount of people who do not get vaccinated as infants. With this virus being so contagious and not showing symptoms when you are contagious makes it very hard to stop an outbreak of this virus. An outbreak of Measles is three cases that are all linked. So if three people become infected from the same virus it is considered an outbreak. There were seventeen outbreaks in the year 2018. In year 2019 there have already been 127 measles cases already, including five outbreaks. These numbers have surpassed recent years numbers already only a quarter of the way through the year.
- 1International travel and people opting out of immunizations seems to be affecting the number of people getting the measles.
- 2You are contagious with the measles virus before the rash appears to alert you to the disease.
- 3In the U.S. in the first 3 months of 2019 there have already been 127 measles cases.
It is said that ninety percent of people who haven’t gotten the immunization who come into contact with an infected person will become infected.
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