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Measles: Symptoms and Vaccine Recommendations

By HERWriter
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Measles related image Photo: Getty Images

Here are some interesting U.S. facts provided by the New York Times and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about measles:

• Measles can be a deadly disease for children
• One out of 1000 will die because of measles
• 400–500 will die this year as a result of measles
• The measles vaccine has led to more than 99 percent reduction in measles
• Three to four million Americans are infected annually with measles
• This year, 48,000 will be hospitalized because of measles

• 1,000 people will develop chronic disability from measles encephalitis
• 6 - 20 percent of those who get the disease will get an ear infection, diarrhea, or pneumonia
• One out of 1,000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain

According to the CDC, ʺMeasles is highly contagious. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards.ʺ Also, measles generally starts out as a fever and other flu symptoms follow. One key symptom is the red itchy rash which appears a few days after the initial symptoms begin.

The New York Times states additional symptoms of measles include:
• Fever
• Sensitivity to light
• Redness and irritation of the eyes
• Bloodshot eyes
• Sore throat
• Cough
• Tiny white spots inside the mouth
• Muscle pain
• Runny nose
• A red itchy rash
• Rash appears 3 - 5 days after the first sign of illness
• Rash lasts 4 - 7 days
• Rash starts at the head and spreads down the body
• Rash may appear as flat, discolored areas and solid, red, raised areas that later join together

To relieve symptoms of measles, The New York Times states you may try the following:

• Bed rest
• Vitamin A
• Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
• Humidified air

The CDC recommends the following measles vaccine schedule for children and adults. The measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) age recommendations are as follows:

• 12-18 months
• A second dose before the age of four
• One or two doses for adults between the ages 19-49.
• One dose for adults 49+

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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