There was a case of measles here in Utah this week. Here are a few tidbits about the condition:

  • Before the vaccine in the 1960s measles affected 4 million people a year, with nearly 500 deaths
  • Since the advent of the vaccine there are around 150 cases a year, with over 90% of these occurring in people who are unvaccinated
  • Children are routinely vaccinated at 12 months of age via the MMR vaccine (which has absolutely no proven link to autism)
  • Measles is highly contagious. The attack rate in a susceptible individual is over 75%. Hence, sending all unvaccinated kids home from Olympus High school, where the case was reported.
  • Measles presents with fever, fatigue, red eyes, runny nose and cough. A rash whitish/blue rash can develop in the mouth, and there can be a bumpy red rash that starts on the face and spreads down.
  • Patients tend to improve 48 hours after the appearance of the rash.
  • Patients are contagiousness 5 days before the appearance of rash to 4 days afterwards, with the most contagious period when the patient has a fever and a cough.
  • Complications from measles occur in about 1/4 of the cases, with ear infections, pneumonia, and diarrhea being the most common.
Given that only one case has been reported, and most children are vaccinated, it is unlikely your child will get the measles. But if you have questions or concerns, give us a call. We are happy to check your child out.

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