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The Most Common Questions About Measles, Answered

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Measles is in the news again and every time this disease is mentioned it definitely causes alarm. How could it not? It's a highly contagious disease without any specific treatment. That's pretty scary to consider it sweeping the nation. However, a lot of people have misinformation whenever it comes to this disease, so we want to set the record straight.

According to Immunize.org, Measles is a virus that can easily be spread from person to person through the air, taking about ten to twelve days to reveal itself, typically through a high fever. About two to three days after the fever begins is when the rash (starting at the hairline and traveling down the body) will appear.

This is a serious disease that is like everything else, most harmful to young children, pregnant women, individuals with a compromised immune system, and the elderly. Ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhea and even permanent brain damage can occur if this disease goes untreated. Measles can be diagnosed through the doctor seeing typical symptoms as well as a blood test.

It's highly contagious natures means that it can be passed onto others from four days before the rash appears up until four days after it is gone and should be immediately reported to a doctor. If the person has not been vaccinated, measles vaccine may prevent disease if given within 72 hours of exposure. Immune globulin (a blood product containing antibodies to the measles virus) may prevent or lessen the severity of measles if given within six days of exposure.

Measles is not common, thanks to the creation of the vaccine in 1963, before then there were a reported three to four million cases each year. The first dose of the vaccine is typically given to children during the twelve to fifteen month age range, then again between four and six years, through injection and it is called the MMR vaccine as it is given with vaccinations for Mumps and Rubella, too. Since it's creation, outbreaks have been minimal.

Measles is not something that you cannot contract more than once in your life and the vaccine is highly recommended by The Center For Disease Control and Prevention.

READ NEXT: Doctors Urge Parents To Vaccinate Younger Kids After Measles Outbreak

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