Urgent care clinics and hospitals are seeing a new resurgence of measles cases. But what is measles and how serious is it? Here are five important facts you need to know:
1.Measles can be more detrimental to children. While unvaccinated people of any age can contract measles, it’s often most serious with small children, the elderly, and those with a compromised immune system. Measles involves flu-like symptoms and an intense fever that can run higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Children’s bodies have a hard time enduring this.
2. Measles was once almost totally eradicated in the U.S. In the mid-twentieth century, improved vaccination efforts meant that virtually 100% of the population was vaccinated and that measles cases fell nearly to zero. The few remaining cases were mostly brought to the US from overseas. The current resurgence in measles is mostly tied to a decline in vaccination rates.
3. 1 in 4 measles patients will be hospitalized. Measles is much more severe than the flu or winter colds we’re all used to dealing with. Roughly 1 in 4 measles patients will end up in the hospital, and at least one in a thousand will die regardless of the care they receive.
4. Travelers should beware of measles. Other countries have much lower vaccination rates than the US and there are measles epidemics in some regions. Travelers to Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and even parts Europe may be exposed. The best protection is to simply get vaccinated before you travel, but ask your travel clinic or urgent care clinic about the specific countries on your itinerary.
5. The measles vaccine is safe and effective. There has been a lot of misinformation spread about the measles vaccine, but it is safe and effective. Like any medicine, the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps & rubella) may have occasional side effects, but the risks of going unvaccinated are much more serious. There is absolutely no evidence of a connection between the vaccine and autism, and the MMR vaccine does not contain mercury in any form.
Getting vaccinated is easy and inexpensive. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.