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Everything You Need to Know About Measles

Measles is a very contagious infectious disease caused by the rubeola virus.

It is transmitted through sneezing, coughing, and direct contact with contaminated secretions. Since it can spread through airborne transmission, the virus can remain suspended in the air for up to two hours after the patient sneezes, or coughs. If the patient is not given immediate medical attention, he might develop serious complications. Because measles is highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person, the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly advocates for vaccination against measles. You may visit Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches Walk-in Clinic in Forest Hill to get your measles immunization. 02F17652-1200x800-1-1024x683 Everything You Need to Know About Measles

Who are at risk

  • Young children who are unvaccinated against measles. This population is at risk of developing measles complications and even death.
  • Pregnant women who are unvaccinated.
  • Disaster-struck areas. It’s hard to get access to healthcare facilities and resources after a disaster. Likewise, diseases spread fast in crowded relocation areas.

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of measles manifest around 10-14 days after contracting the virus. These may include:
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Koplik’s spots - Occurs 2-3 days before the rash, these are white spots surrounded by a red ring found on the inner lining of the cheek.
  • Skin rash - Flat, slightly raised, non-itchy red spots begin to develop on the face and spread downwards.

Phases of a measles infection

Measles has 4 phases of infection. However, a person who is infected with the measles virus can spread the infection starting 4 days before the rash appears, up until 4 days after the rash has appeared.

Incubation phase

No signs and symptoms appear in the incubation phase. This is the first 10-14 days after you get infected.

Prodromal phase

This marks the appearance of the first signs and symptoms, which are typically non-specific to the disease. These may include: headache, runny nose, cough, fever, sensitivity to light, and red eyes. Fever may rise steadily for 2-4 days before rashes develop.

Rash phase

In this stage, all the signs and symptoms in the prodromal phase get worse. Rashes begin to develop on the forehead and spread down to the neck until it covers the entire body within 24 hours. This usually subsides after 4-5 days, which marks the beginning of the recovery phase.

Recovery phase

The body begins to recover and the rash recedes gradually starting from the face downward.

Measles in numbers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of measles cases across the United States has dramatically increased by 275% (1022 cases) in the first half of 2019 alone, compared to the 372 total cases recorded in 2018. A measles outbreak is being linked to the number of unvaccinated individuals contracting and spreading the disease. Americans who traveled to measles-endemic countries and brought measles back to the U.S. are also linked to outbreaks. For this reason, travelers are advised to get measles vaccine from accredited facilities such as Urgent Care in Lake Worth before they travel internationally. This is an important measure to protect yourself and the community as a whole from acquiring the disease.

Prevent measles through vaccination in Palm Springs Urgent Care

Do you have further questions about measles? Or would you like to take action to protect your family? Contact Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches Walk-in Clinic in Forest Hill today to schedule your immunization. The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
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