April – MEASLES

Measles were once eradicated in 2000 and now are back with vengeance!   It’s the worse measles outbreak of the century.   The measles have become more prevalent due to the changes in our lifestyles of not vaccinating and increased travel.  

Why mess with Mother nature?….  ” If you don’t aggressively vaccinate against these diseases, they will win.  If humans change one thing then a chain reaction occurs that we often cannot foresee or predict, this is the situation we now find ourselves in.    Holistic moms and others have an idea of anti-vaccination movement believing it to be a healthier choice.  I like to know both sides of the thought process so in my research about the anti-vaccination movement I found that people have a distrust of vaccines.   This mistrust may have been warranted but as our sanitation, medical knowledge and standards have progressed todays vaccination should be a safe and effective way to combatting global health issues.   It’s stupid in my opinion not to vaccinate.  Even as a nurse I had to get a flu vaccine every year.  I obviously appreciate the fears and concerns of those needing vaccines, including my co-workers who feared needles and vaccines, but we cannot deny the reality of keeping each other safe.    

Currently this past month an effort to prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease occurred at two public universities in California.  They ordered a measles quarantine for those students exposed and unable to validate a vaccination against the measles.  Currently over 200 people have been asked to stay home and avoid contact with others while reporting any evidence of measles symptoms.  As of today, there have been 764 reported cases and counting of measles across 20 states this year alone “Quarantine can last up to 21 days from the date of last exposure, at which time the exposed person is no longer a risk for developing the disease and spreading measles to others.”

I remember as a child having the measles and believe me it was not fun.   I vividly recall being secluded in a dark room about a week with a red itchy rash covering my entire body while calamine lotion was applied making for a starched mummy feel.     The onset of measles is usually 10-12 days after exposure lasting about a week.  When one sibling contracts measles the other siblings become highly likely to contract them.  So,  the next natural question might be:   

How does one get the measles virus? 

It’s a virus transmitted via air such as coughing, sneezing, or direct contact by touching an infected person, items, or surfaces.  The virus can linger for up to 2 hours after someone sneezes or coughs. Just as my blog about germs suggests that viruses and diseases are invisible to the air we breathe and the water we drink thus making the measles  a contagious disease.      

What are the symptoms? 

Fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and ultimately the rash of many red spots.  It can cause blindness and neurological problems

How to prevent it? 

Vaccines against the measles is the only choice of stopping this disease.   Be aware of countries and now states with outbreaks.   Receiving two doses of the MMR vaccine is recommended.   Revaccination boosters can be recommended as our immunities wane over time and for those people receiving only one dose before 1990.

We are now discovering the economic impact with cost to our public health systems because it’s high level of communicability,  

Vaccines are important for the reasons we are now witnessing!  

Be measles aware and vaccine smart!   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *