This disease is highly contagious which had its major epidemics occurred approximately every 2 to 3 years. It has caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year. Measles is a disease caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family. The virus is known as rubeola and has been haunting vulnerable individuals that are susceptible to the virus.
Measles is not just considered as a deadly disease, and what makes it scarier is that it also affects those around the person who is suffering this illness. It makes it a great threat for a community or an area wherein the person is present. However, due to the knowledge, the medical practitioners have acquired, measles is now treatable. Want to know as what you can do about this disease?
Find out more in reading this article.
What Measles Exactly Do to Your Body?
After having contact with the virus and as soon as it enters your body, it multiplies in the back of the lymphatic system, lungs, and throat. Then it infects next and replicates in the urinary tract, blood vessels, eyes, and central nervous system. And now it will establish itself in 1 to 3 weeks, making the symptoms appear between 9 and 11 days after initial infection.
Take note that anyone that has never been infected or vaccinated is at greater risk to become ill if they breathe in infected droplets or comes close in physical contact with an infected person. Also, you increase your risk if you are not immunized. Since approximately 90 percent of people who are not immune has been found to develop measles if they share a house with an infected person.
Transmission of Measles
As what was said before, measles is a highly contagious disease. Also, it is considered as an airborne disease. It means that it can be spread through coughing, sneezing and close or direct contact with the infected nasal or throat secretions of the patient suffering from measles.
Therefore, being in one place with the patient, those who surround the infected has great chances of acquiring the disease. The virus remains active and contagious in the air on in the infected surfaces for up to 2 hours. It can be transmitted from 4 days prior to the onset of the rashes and up to 4 days after the rash erupts.
Symptoms of Measles
Fever is always present in the symptoms of measles. There is always at least one of the three Cs, mainly cough, coryza, or a runny nose, and conjunctivitis. Then these are followed by Koplik’s spots in the mouth, gray spots or bluish white on a red background seen inside the cheeks. Note that these symptoms appear 9 to 11 days after initial infection.
You usually see non-itchy bright red or pink spots with a measles rash. It always begins at the hairline and behind the ears that spread down to the neck, arms, palms, legs, and soles. The rash then begins to fade about for days later in the same order it occurred. Additionally, some people may have big lymph nodes or swollen glands, diarrhea, and vomiting.
There is an only way in preventing this contagious and deadly disease. It can be treated with measles vaccine which is given as part of MMR combination vaccine. Children mostly receive two doses of the MMR vaccine in the United States. It is given at the first 12 to 15 months of age. After that a booster dose is given at 4 to 6 years or sooner if traveling internationally. Additionally, to those adults who have never received an immunization can request the preventive vaccine from their doctor.
Now, if a person has not been immunized against measles and has been exposed to the virus, the vaccine may provide protection if it is given within 72 hours of the exposure. Immune globulin can prevent and minimize the symptoms of measles infection. If the exposure occurred between three and six days earlier then the individual can receive an injection of IG (immune globulin).
There is no indicated specific treatment for measles. Such as if an individual is healthy then the measles symptoms are treated with just bed rest, a cool-mist humidifier to soothe the respiratory passages and relieve a cough, taken together with an acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help reduce fever and relieve discomfort.
For those people who are hospitalized and complications, some doctors prescribe high dosages of vitamin A. On the other hand, for those people who have weakened the immune system, an antiviral medication like ribavirin (Virazole) can be used occasionally.
Measles may be a death flag for many. But, because of the advances in science and technology, there are now certain medications and treatment is presented. Thus, one can be treated from this deadly disease. However, medications and treatments are available so you could surely pull this disease off. Although it can be expensive. Antiviral drug coupons are being made to help you financially and get you to have better health.