A “RASH” OF MEASLES CASES
Measles in the U.S. has climbed to its highest level in 25 years, closing in on 700 cases this year in a resurgence largely attributed to misinformation that is turning parents against vaccines.
“This is alarming,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert. Not only is measles dangerous in itself, but its return could mean other vaccine-preventable diseases seemingly consigned to the past may be coming back as well, he said.APNEWS.COM, APRIL 24, 2019
The rash of measles, also known as rubeola, starts on the head and spreads to the trunk (chest and upper back) , arms, and legs over a few days .
What is measles?
At one time, measles was one of the “usual childhood diseases” that most of us over age 55 years contracted as children, prior to the use of the vaccine. It is caused by a virus in the Paramyxoviridae family and spread by person to person contact.
The other childhood diseases were
- Rubella, or German measles
- Chicken pox, or varicella
- Fifth Disease, or erythema infectiosum
These all cause a rash, called an exanthem.
Mumps was also a common childhood disease but does not usually cause a rash.
Symptoms of measles include cough, nasal drainage, reddened, inflamed eyes, and a rash as pictured below.
There is no specific treatment and it runs its course in about 1-2 weeks. Antibiotics are not effective .
Most of those infected recover uneventfully but there can be serious complications including pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Preventing measles and other exanthems
After the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963 the number of reported cases was reduced by 99%. In 2000 measles was declared no longer endemic ( occurring routinely) in the United States. U.S. public health officials consider an outbreak a major setback in the control of infectious disease.
Measles vaccine is usually administered as a “3 in 1” vaccine- the MMR, which has been vilified as a possible cause of autism, although that has been thoroughly discredited.
The other two letters in the mix stand for mumps and rubella (also known as German measles) both of which are also caused by viruses and for which no treatment exists.
No vaccine exists for roseola or Fifth Disease, but we have an effective vaccine for varicella, commonly called chickenpox.
MEASLES OUTBREAK ELSEWHERE
According to the World Health Organization, WHO, Europeans are also contracting the most measles cases in 30 years.
The WHO European Region comprises 53 countries, from Andorra to Ukraine. According to data from the WHO, 41,000 measles cases were reported from January to June 2018 across those countries, including 37 deaths — a record-high number of fatalities since the 1990s.CBSNEWS.COM, JUNE 17, 2019
sharing the HEART of health
My family receives vaccines and believe any potential risk is worth the benefit. I urge you to think carefully and talk to a trusted physician before you decide to forgo vaccination for yourself and especially for your children.
Thanks for visiting this blog and considering this vital information as we explore the HEART of health together.