By Angela Bekiaris
You know it’s contagious, you know there’s a vaccination, but you also know you have kids. So what should you really know about measles? We share some important information on the highly infectious illness, which is caused by the rubeola virus, courtesy of medicalnewstoday.com.
♦ Measles is an endemic disease, meaning it is continually present in a community and many people develop resistance.
♦ If measles enters an area where the people have never been exposed, the result can be devastating.
♦ Over the last 150 years, the total global measles death toll is an estimated 200 million people.
♦ Symptoms include a reddish-brown spotty rash. The most common are a fever and at one of the three C’s – cough, coryza (stuffy nose), and conjunctivitis, all of which usually start nine to 11 days after initial infection. Other symptoms include photophobia (a sensitivity to light), sneezing, Koplik’s spots (small greyish-white spots with bluish-white centre in the mouth, insides of cheeks, and throat), and an aching body.
♦ Infection rises through physical contact with an infected person, being close to infected people when they cough or sneeze, as well as touching a surface that has infected droplets of mucus – the virus remains active for two hours – and then putting fingers into the mouth, or rubbing the nose or eyes.