Measles is a hot topic right now. Every news station is covering the current outbreak that’s affecting hundreds of people throughout the country. It’s important to be well-informed in order to properly protect you and your children.
What is Measles?
Measles, also known as rubeola, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is caused by a virus. Signs and symptoms for the virus appear within 10 to 14 days of exposure. Symptoms typically include:
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
- Koplik’s spots – Small, white spots with bluish-white centers that are located on the inner lining of the cheek
A skin rash made up with large blotches throughout the body
Stages of the Measles
Measles occurs in stages throughout a three week period.
- Stage 1 – Incubation – This stage lasts about 10 to 14 days depending on the person
- Stage II – Common Symptoms – This stage, which lasts two to three days, often includes mild symptoms such as fever and runny nose.
- Stage III – Rash – The measles rash begins in the face and spreads across the body. It appears as small, red spots that can be slightly raised. The rash can last as long as a week and begins to fade first in the face. In addition to the rash, a high-grade fever might also occur.
- Stage IV – Contagious Period – There is an eight day period where measles can spread, beginning four days before the rash occurs and ending four days after the rash has fully spread. It’s important to isolate the person to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.
Preventing the Measles
While vaccinating your child is a personal decision, the CDC is urging parents to consider the measles vaccination due to recent outbreaks. Contact Lake Mary Pediatrics at (407) 323-3550 for information on the measles.