Measles

By Greyson Snyder

Description

Measles is a virus that affects mainly small children. It causes a noticeable red rash, and can be fatal. Measles was first described separately from smallpox around 900 CE. It is recognized for being the most infectious disease in known history, able to infect around 18 people for each infected person, (as compared to Ebola's measly 2(He he... measly)), so you can see how it spreads like wildfire, (especially in schools). A vaccine was developed and licensed in 1963, but a better one developed and licensed in 1968. After the vaccine was licensed, cases started to drop dramatically, but it has started to make a return in recent years.

Treatments

Speaking of the vaccine, if you decide not to get it for your children, (WHY???), and your child gets Measles, there are remedies for curing it more quickly. One way to help Measles go away is to relax and eat foods with Vitamin A. If you go to the doctors, they might use cod liver oil, which is high in Vitamin A and is proven to help Measles go away more quickly. Without these, the communicable period usually lasts about eight days (4 days before symptoms and 4 days after symptoms).

Region

Measles is mainly found in the South and the East. All reported outbreaks of Measles in the US, (2014), were started from an unvaccinated individual traveling internationally. The virus can't circulate easily through the US because of all the vaccinated people.

Symptoms

Measles causes plenty of symptoms, most of which appear at different times during the illness. One of the most predominant symptoms is a bright red rash consisting of many small spots in groups, giving the skin a red, blotchy appearance. The rash starts on the head, usually along the hairline or behind the ears, and later makes its way down to the arms, body, and legs. While doing this, high fevers hitting 104-105.8 degrees fahrenheit. Other symptoms include a dry cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis).

Causes

There's not much to say here, but I'll tell you this too. The virus transmits to others through the air, which makes it a very easy way to get an entire school infected. What's even worse is that you can transmit the virus even before symptoms start. If you find out there's an infected individual at your school and you haven't been vaccinated, go to the doctor's office right away. The virus gets into the air from coughing, sneezing, and stuff like that.

Risks

One way to avoid getting Measles ever is to get the MMR vaccine, but if you haven't, you have an even higher chance if you have to travel internationally, and it could be disastrous if you come back. you also can be more vulnerable if you have a Vitamin A deficiency, because for some reason Measles can't infect people with a lot of Vitamin A.

Complications

Measles can be worse than Measles. Sounds confusing? Well, if you can't think how, then I'll tell you that one of the most common complications of Measles is permanent hearing loss from an ear infection (approximately 1/10 children). Another pretty common complication is Pneumonia developed, which is the leading cause of death from Measles (approx. 1/20 children). Some children even get encephalitis (brain swelling) which can leave a person mentally retarded.

Mortality Rate

Even though these all seem like measles is the worst disease ever, it is actually not that dangerous. For example, out of the 3-4 MILLION cases (per year) before the vaccine developed, only about 450 children died. Still seem like a lot? well, *calculator noises* that's a mortality rate of about 0.0001125%. Wow. Does the vaccine still seem so necessary?

Bibliography


Boy with Measles. Digital image. The History of Vaccines. The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

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Digital image. Web. <http://imgkid.com/vitamin-a-deficiency-diseases-night-blindness.shtml>.

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"Measles." Measles. 02 Oct. 2003. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.

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Measles Rash Picture. Digital image. 8 Dec. 2010. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

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MMR Vaccine being drawn into a Syringe. Digital image. Microbiology Online. Ico & Microbiology Online, 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

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"Putting Measles Into Perspective." VaxTruthorg. Guest Writer Dawn Babcock Papple, 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

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Sneeze. Digital image. Study: Few Correctly Cover Coughs, Sneezes. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

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Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Measles." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Staff, 24 May 2014. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

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Stone, Judy. Measles Cases. Digital image. Germs, Microbes Compete with Athletes in Sochi Olympics. 17 Feb. 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.