So far in 2015, more than 100 people in the U.S. have been reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Measles starts with a fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles can be serious for young children. It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death.
How Measles SpreadsMeasles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. People in the United States still get measles, but it’s not very common. That’s because most people in this country are protected against measles through vaccination. However, since measles is still common in parts of Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, measles is brought into the United States by people who get infected while they are abroad.
Your child’s doctor may offer the MMRV vaccine, a combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). Click here to learn more about the MMRV Vaccine.
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