According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 159 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 10 states from January 1st, 2019 to February 21st, 2019. This recent outbreak of measles is concerning, particularly for parents and vaccinated individuals.
How does Measles Spread?
The measles virus spreads easily through the air and direct contact with fluids from the nose or mouth of an infected person. According to the CDC, signs and symptoms of measles typically appear 7 to 14 days after a person is infected. As a highly contagious disease, measles can lead to a fever, runny nose, red eyes, and a rash of red spots. Measles can also cause ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. The most serious complication is encephalitis, which is considered life threatening.
How to Treat Measles
Unfortunately, there is no way to cure measles once someone is infected. However, it’s possible to lessen the severity of the disease and make your child as comfortable as possible. We recommend using a humidifier to ease sore throat and administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever.
When to Vaccinate Your Children
A measles vaccine is not only considered safe, but it also significantly reduces the risk of getting measles infection. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend children receive the measles vaccine at 12 to 15 months, and again at 4 to 6 years. Plus, make sure your child is protected before traveling abroad.
I’m not sure if my family received measles vaccine. Do I need a booster?
If you’re unsure if you or your children have been fully vaccinated against measles, talk with your healthcare provider to see if anyone in your family needs to be vaccinated. There is no risk to receiving another dose of the measles vaccine if you have been immunized before.
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If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact Lakeview Family Medicine today! Our team will support your recovery so you can return to work as soon as possible.