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Measles

What are Measles?

Measles, is a highly infectious disease characterized by a pink rash and a respiratory infection. People with measles are contagious several days before the rash appears and continue to be contagious until the rash and fever go away.

Infants are usually protected from measles for 6 to 8 months after birth. They are protected because of the immunity that was passed on from their mothers.

Measles is also called rubella.

What causes Measles?

Measles is caused by a virus.

Symptoms of Measles

Symptoms usually appear about 10 days after exposure. The most common symptoms are: cough, fever, sore throat, red or irritated eyes, runny nose, flat pink or brown rash. Some people will also experience an ear infection or pneumonia.

How is Measles Transmitted?

Measles is extremely contagious. Measles is transmitted from person to person by inhaling infected droplets. Infected droplets may come from a sneeze or cough. Measles is usually spread when a person with it sneezes of coughs.

Treatment Options for Measles

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for measles. Medication may be take to reduce the fever.

Complications of Measles

Measles complications include: croup, bronchitis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, and encephalitis.

Measles statistics

Measles is very rare in the United States. Due to widespread immunizations, the number of U.S. measles cases has steadily declined in the last 50 years. There were thousands of cases of the measles in 1950, but in 2002 there were just 44.

Measles Emergency:

It's important to get medical care if your child:

  • is an infant and has been exposed to measles
  • is taking medicines that depress the immune system
  • has tuberculosis, cancer, or a disease that affects the immune system

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