Once Thought Eradicated, Measles Is Back

Measles was declared eradicated in America in 2000. Now, in nine states, and with two reported cases in Champaign County, the disease is back. Clark County, Washington alone has reported 53 cases, and the World Health Organization warned last week to expect a dramatic rise in cases in Europe, as they have seen the most significant outbreak there in a decade.

The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to fourteen days after a person is infected. Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots called Koplik spots may appear inside the mouth.

Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.

Measles can be serious in all age groups. However, children younger than 5 years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are more likely to suffer from measles complications.

Common measles complications include ear infections and diarrhea. Ear infections occur in about one out of every 10 children with measles and can result in permanent hearing loss.

Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). They may need to be hospitalized and could die. As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.

Measles may cause pregnant woman to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.

For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. All of this is preventable. The measles vaccine is said to be 97% effective with two doses, and studies that were published stating there is a link between vaccines and autism have been utterly debunked.

Contact the immunizations department at Bond County Health Department by calling (618) 664-1442 to schedule an appointment to get your child vaccinated today. Bond County Health Department accepts most insurances, public aid, along with a cash price for those without any insurance coverage. If you have received the vaccination, the health department does offer a low-cost laboratory test to check your immunity.

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