Parents Should Know That Measles Is Not A Pleasant Disease To Have For Children

Experts warn that measles can be highly contagious and dangerous. Central Ohio has a measles outbreak, and most children are unvaccinated. As of November 2022, 85 cases of measles have been reported in Columbus on the city’s official website. Thirty-four people have been hospitalized because of the disease.

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Measles: What Is It?

The CDC describes measles as an acute viral respiratory illness characterized by a distinct rash, high fever, and cough. Dr. Amesh Adalja, the senior scholar, tells Yahoo Life that measles can cause pneumonia and brain infection and can wipe out aspects of the immune system. In particular, measles can impair the immune system by wiping out as many as 73% of preexisting antibodies for other diseases, such as influenza.

Measles Symptoms To Watch Out For

The CDC reports that measles symptoms usually appear seven to 14 days after infection. A child in the first stage typically experiences these symptoms:

  • High fever.
  • Cough
  • Runny nose.
  • Red, watery eyes.

Measles: How Does It Spread?

In addition to touching infected surfaces, the CDC warns that people can contract measles by touching their eyes, noses, and mouths. Measles is so contagious that 90 percent of those around an infected person will contract it if they are not immune.

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What Can You Do To Prevent Measles?

It is possible to prevent measles with the two-dose MMR vaccine. A single dose of the vaccine prevents measles about 93% of the time, while two doses prevent it about 97%. CDC recommends giving children the first dose at 12-15 months and the second dose at 4 to 6 years old.

Measles: How Is It Treated?

Measles does not have a specific treatment. Children should instead be given acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fevers, aches, or pains and encouraged to drink plenty of fluids. Russo said, “We don’t have much in the way of treatment. The key with measles is prevention.”