• According to the CDC, measles, also known as Rubeola, is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable respiratory disease that affects both adults and children.
• The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) is given to children in two doses for prevention – once at the age of about one year and again at the age of 15 months to the age of 6 years.
• This viral infection is mainly transmitted by airway droplets released during coughing and sneezing. These droplets can last longer than two hours.
• The disease usually starts with fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. In the next few days, the infected person may notice tiny white spots on the inside of the cheek before a rash.
• The rash, the most indicative of measles, appears as small, flat, red patches around the hairline on a person's face and spreads down over the body. Small, red bumps can also develop over the flat areas.
• Measles may last for several days or weeks. The infected are on average four days before and after the rash outbreak contagious.
With the rise in measles cases in the US, Health Department officials advise anyone to protect themselves, regardless of whether or not there is an infection in their area.
By 4 April, the United States had 465 cases of measles ̵
The CDC considers a trial to be necessary if the disease is not continuously transmitted to a specific area for at least 12 months.
So far, 19 states, including Florida and Georgia, have reported cases of measles this year. On April 9, New York mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public emergency for measles in parts of the city. In Rockland County, New York, the state of emergency was proclaimed.
"Measles is on radar right now, especially in New York," Dr. Karen Landers, district physician and vaccine consultant for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). Born in Florence, Landers has been working in paediatrics for 42 years.
As of March, the Alabama Ministry of Health had no confirmed cases of measles in the state in the last 12 months.
Dr. Wes Stubblefield, president of the Alabama chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is a pediatrician at the Infants and Children's Hospital in Florence.
"The more people being vaccinated against a disease creates a buffer so that more people are protected, and that protects the people who really can not get vaccinated," he said.
Measles is best known for the rash it causes several days after the onset of the disease, but the patient has been infectious for several days.
According to CDC, the first symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Those who develop these symptoms should pay attention to small, white spots, also called Koplik spots, in the mouth. After the first symptoms, the well-known red, widespread rash can develop between one and seven days.
The disease can often be confused with other early-stage diseases, Stubblefield said.
"We just have to come up with these signs and symptoms again in our heads when we see patients with fever, rashes and red eyes because the initial symptoms are relatively low and it might be confused for something else", he said.
Those who get measles are hospitalized, according to the CDC. Landers said complications are often more serious in toddlers, but adults are not immune.
"The complications of measles in very young children start with the risk of developing not just pneumonia or even severe ear infection, but more specifically, the measles encephalitis that can occur and people can die," Landers explained
Encephalitis means brain swelling, which can lead to fatal brain damage.The complication rate for measles is about 20 to 30 percent after ADPH.
"It is a very, very serious disease that we do not need in our population Stubblefield said, "To harm our children and cause these dreadful, long-term complications."
CDC reports that every vaccinee who still develops measles has a much milder case and is less infectious.
Landers said that People born before 1957 are unlikely to have had measles vaccine, as soon as a person has had two Do the MMR vaccine, it is considered to be life-long protected. No booster vaccine is needed.
Doctors and many pharmacies and health departments administer vaccines.
"We're just continuing to work on the Enlightenment," Landers said. "Of course, I want to respect other people's opinions, but I have to rely on science."
"I did that for 42 years. I have studied this my whole career. I think it's a real tragedy that people do not use this vaccine with their young children if there's a chance of preventing a deadly disease. For me as a doctor, that's really worrying.
Landers said local health authorities would notify the community if a case is confirmed in the region A single case is expected to cause 12 to 18 more cases, according to the ADPH.
In investigating a potential case, Health Department officials examine the travel history, vaccine history, and clinical presentation of the person.
The Health Department also Pe. A polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) is being carried out, which will be sent to another state with a measles laboratory, said Landers. This will decide if it is a true case of measles.
"Because of this situation, we would of course vaccinate the people around the person if they had not been vaccinated and inform the community that there is a case that people could check their vaccine data," Landers explained.
Im In the event of an outbreak, infants in the affected area may be vaccinated as early as 6 months.
If a person is exposed, ADPH indicates that they have a dose of the MMR vaccine within 72 hours significantly reduces the likelihood of getting measles Immunoglobulin drugs may also reduce the odds, according to the CDC.
The CDC said that those who study measles should stay home at least four days after the rash occurs, disinfect surfaces and practice habits of good hygiene 19659002] Stubblefield said Alabama has a vaccination rate of more than 90 percent t for the primary vaccine series – including the MMR vaccine – that children must have before entering school. He and other paediatricians, however, have noticed an increase in parents who have rejected or delayed these vaccines for their children.
"The lower our vaccination rates, the more common outbreaks become," Stubblefield warned.
Compatriots across the state and nation continue to believe in a link between vaccines and autism and various health issues, Landers said, and these beliefs are not supported by science.
Several organizations, including Autism Speaks, advocate the MMR vaccine.
Stubblefield said that the Infant and Children's Hospital in Florence has a policy that doctors will not accept patients who can not be vaccinated.
"We are very concerned about the vaccine, the safety of the vaccine and the effectiveness of the vaccine," Stubblefield said. "We feel that if we can not agree on something we are so united in, we probably will not agree on anything else. Therefore, we feel better when we separate our care from the people who choose. And that's their choice, but it's also something we can choose – whether we want to see these patients or not. "
Landers urges people to check their vaccine records."
"Make sure you're vaccinated now. Make sure you know your story and that your kids are vaccinated, "she said.