If you haven’t seen on the news; measles has made a comeback. According to the CDC; as of January 25; cases have been found in Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Measles is a highly contagious viral infection caused by the measles virus. It spreads through tiny droplets in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can survive on surfaces for several hours, making it easy to contract by touching contaminated objects and then touching the face.
Symptoms for measles usually appear 10 to 14 days after exposure and include high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a distinctive red rash that starts on the face and spreads down the body. (Think of all the possible exposures during the 10-14 day range when you feel fine!) Measles can be particularly dangerous for young children; leading to viral sepsis, pneumonia, or brain swelling.
Vaccination is a way to prevent measles. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is typically administered to children in two doses, the first at 12-15 months and the second at 4-6 years. Vaccination not only protects individuals but also contributes to community immunity, preventing the spread of the virus. When many people get vaccinated, it creates a shield of protection, making it harder for diseases like measles to spread.
For numerous reasons; everyone does not get the MMR vaccination and this can lead to an outbreak. An outbreak happens when many people in a community get sick around the same time. During a measles outbreak, schools and public places may close temporarily to prevent the virus from spreading.
How Kids Can Stay Safe:
Wash Your Hands: (Measles can spread through germs on surfaces. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.)
Cover Your Mouth: (If you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or your elbow to cover your mouth. This helps stop the spread of germs.)
Stay Healthy: (Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising can help keep your immune system strong.)
As always I am here for any concerns or questions.