What is Measles?
What Causes Measles?
What Are the Symptoms of Measles?
Measles is characterized by fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Within days of the onset of symptoms (two or three, usually), small white spots, called Koplik’s spots, may form inside the mouth. Three to five days after the start of symptoms, a flat, red rash usually spreads from the face to the rest of the body. Roughly 30% of those with measles may experience complications including pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, diarrhea, and sometimes even blindness.
What Are the Risk Factors of Measles?
How is Measles Diagnosed?
How Can Measles Be Treated and Cured?
For those infected with the measles virus there exists no specific treatment. Supportive care methods (rehydration, medications for fever, healthy foods, and antibiotics for bacterial infections that result as a complication) are often provided to improve outcomes. The best defense against the disease, however, is the vaccination.
How Can Measles Be Prevented?
Of any disease, measles causes the most deaths preventable by vaccine. The vaccine in use for preventing measles is proven to be very effective: it has caused a 75% decrease in measles-related deaths between 2000 and 2013. As of now, 85% of children in the world have been vaccinated.
What Are the Health Risks of not Preventing or Treating Measles?
Before the US began administering immunizations regularly, measles affected between three and four million citizens a year. Risk of death among the infected is only about 0.2%, and 10% in cases involving a malnourished patient. Most of those who die from the infection are less than five years old, so early vaccination is crucial.