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How can you tell if you have measles – and what to do if you do?

Take a deep breath first. No panic. Chances are, almost anyone who reads this article has no measles . You may want to know what to do if you (or your child) are this statistical outlier.

Know the most common early symptoms.

Measles are most famous for their rash with small red dots, but the rash does not matter. It appears until you have had other symptoms for three to five days. The CDC lists the most common early symptoms as follows:

  • High fever (may rise to over 40 ° C)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes

Tiny white appears before the rash Spots, so-called Koplik spots, are sometimes seen in the mouth. (This is a helpful tip for doctors, but Google Image Searching for a mouth swab may not be the best use of your time if you suspect you have measles.) Call the document already.)

Symptoms usually last 7 to 1

4 days show. In the meantime, you may not know that you have been exposed, but you may become contagious for several days before the onset of symptoms.

Situation matters

You have to catch measles somewhere. If you live in one of the places with a recent measles outbreak, your doctor will be more suspicious of a fever and rash than in an area hundreds of miles from any known case.

If there are no measles cases nearby, you may want to consider whether you have recently traveled to a place of outbreak. The recent international travel can also endanger you: The CDC currently has measles travel warnings for Israel, the Ukraine, Japan, Brazil and the Philippines.

Call your doctor, but do not visit him personally

The last thing you can do Every doctor in a waiting room wants a person who spills measles virus. It's so contagious that when you leave the room, enough viruses can float in the air, so someone who comes in the room two hours after trying to get measles comes.

So if you think you may have measles, do not hesitate. Visit t – call. You do not have a family doctor? Call an urgent clinic or your preferred telemedicine provider – just stay home until someone else gives you instructions.

What about the vaccine?

If you are up to date with the measles vaccine, there is a 97% chance that you will be immune (93% if you have received only one dose instead of the recommended two). This means that some people who are vaccinated will still be able to get the disease.

But people who have not been vaccinated yet have almost opposite chances: 90% of unvaccinated persons will become ill .

The inexperienced persons include children who are too young to get the shot, or who for some reason did not make it in time. This includes people with an immune system who can not safely get the shot. All of these people depend on the rest of us being vaccinated to stop the transmission of measles before they can reach them.

So if you have the possibility of being exposed to measles and experiencing fever and rash (or other characteristic symptoms), tell your doctor immediately and be prepared to stay home for a while. Otherwise you could infect others.

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