Measles

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Measles

Measles is a highly contagious and infectious disease, caused by a virus, in the respiratory system. It can be spread easily through coughing, sneezing or even sharing food. Since Measles is an airborne disease, anyone that is sitting close to you can even catch the disease. Usually, you can spread the virus for four days before the rash starts and four days after the rash starts. The incubation period for measles refers to the first 18 days getting the infection. A vaccination, MMR (measles, mumps, rubeola), has led to its 99% reduction in the United States. However, countries without this form of immunity, which include the poor African and Asian countries, cases of this type, increase on a daily basis.

Causes

Since Measles is contagious, any sneezing or coughing by people with measles, will allow for tiny droplets to fall. Even obtaining a close encounter without those symptoms can allow one to get this contagious disease. Anyone sort of inhaling, with a close counter with a measles patient, will increase the chances of a non-measles patient to “catch the disorder.”


Symptoms

1. Koplix Spots- white marks, which look like grains of sand, around a reddish bump, in the mouth.
2. Encephalitis- a brain infection that results in high fever and swelling of the brain
3. Conjunctivitis- red eyes
4. “A measles rash”- a rash that begins on the head, face and neck, but gradually spreads to other regions.
5. Pneumonia- is the inflammation of the lungs; which makes it difficult for a person to breathe effectively.
6. Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis- a rare disease caused by measles, which damages the brain and results in death.


Diagnosis

1. Checking for measles antibodies using the plaque reduction neutralization test, which tests how strongly antibodies can fight the disease.
2. Isolating the measles disorder from respiratory particles
3. Observing for Koplix Spots, white marks around a red ring, as previously mentioned, represents the easiest of ways.


When to See a Health Professional

If you see that the symptoms are out of control, meaning that one sneezes, coughs, or cannot get rid of conjunctivitis and more, see a physician right away.


Treatment

No specific treatment exists for those who have their measles beyond reach. However, for those who catch the disorder at an early stage, only rest might be the best option.


Prevention

1. Isolate those with the disorder already; so that it can’t be spread to others.
2. Vaccinate young children with the MMR Vaccine, which reduces their chances of getting the disorder.


External Links

Demicheli, V., T. Jefferson, A. Rivetti, and D. Price. "Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children." The Cochrane Collaboration. 19 Oct. 2005. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 10 Apr. 2009 <http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004407.html>.
"Koplik's spots definition - Medical Dictionary definitions of popular medical terms easily defined on MedTerms." Medicine Net. MedicineNet, Inc. 10 Apr. 2009 <http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6481>.
"Measles - Definition, Description, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis, Prevention." Internet RFC/FYI/STD/BCP Archives. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 10 Apr. 2009 <http://www.faqs.org/health/Sick-V3/Measles.html>.
"Preventing Measles - Boulder County Public Health." Boulder County Government - Official Web Site. Boulder County Communicable Disease Control. 10 Apr. 2009 <http://www.bouldercounty.org/health/hpe/cdc/diseases/measles/prevention.htm>.
"Vaccines: VPD-VAC/Measles/FAQ Disease & Vaccine." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Department of Health and Human Services. 10 Apr. 2009 <http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/measles/faqs-dis-vac-risks.htm>.




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