Readers ask: What is measles?

What happens if you get measles?

Once you have had measles, your body builds up resistance (immunity) to the virus and it’s highly unlikely you ‘ll get it again. But it can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications in some people. These include infections of the lungs (pneumonia) and brain (encephalitis).

Can Measles kill?

One out of every 1,000 measles cases progresses to acute encephalitis, which often results in permanent brain damage. One to three out of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from respiratory and neurological complications.

What causes Measle?

Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air. The virus infects the respiratory tract, then spreads throughout the body. Measles is a human disease and is not known to occur in animals.

Is measles a serious disease?

Measles can be serious. Children younger than 5 years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are more likely to suffer from complications. Common complications are ear infections and diarrhea. Serious complications include pneumonia and encephalitis.

Can I take a bath if I have measles?

Although there is no cure for measles, there are steps that can make the disease tolerable. These include the following: Get plenty of rest. Sponge baths with lukewarm water may reduce discomfort due to fever.

How do Measles look?

It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body.

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Can you still get measles if vaccinated?

Can I get the measles if I’ve already been vaccinated? It’s possible, but very unlikely. The combination measles -mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is a two-dose vaccine series that effectively protects against all three viruses.

How can you avoid getting measles?

The only way to prevent measles is to get the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. ​ Measles cases in the United States have declined by more than 99 percent since the measles vaccination program that started in 1963. The MMR vaccine is recommended for all children.

What happens if measles is left untreated?

Measles is a highly contagious infection that causes a rash all over the body, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. If left untreated, the infection can lead to ear infections, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and even death.

How long are you contagious with measles?

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.

How long does it take to recover from measles?

The rash usually lasts for three to five days and then fades away. In uncomplicated cases, people who get measles start to recover as soon as the rash appears and feel back to normal in about two to three weeks.

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