Guest Column

Summit Medical Group Offers Five Things Parents Should Know about the Measles

Measles is making headlines again in the new year. An infant who had not been vaccinated and an adult who traveled overseas were recently diagnosed with the highly contagious disease in North Jersey. In 2016, there was not a single case reported in the garden state.

It is concerning to see a disease that had once been eliminated in the U.S. resurfacing in our area,” says Daniel E. Hermann, MD, MPH, Chair of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Summit Medical Group. “I urge parents to get their children vaccinated on time—waiting until they are older unnecessarily puts their entire family and others at serious risk.”  

Here are five things Dr. Hermann says you should know about the virus:  

Sign Up for E-News

1. Measles looks like a cold or the flu at first.  

  • Most cases begin with mild or moderate symptoms including fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat.
  • Two days later, tiny white spots often appear in the mouth.  
  • Three to five days later, a telltale red blotchy rash breaks out. It typically starts on the face and then spreads down the body. Fevers often spike as high as 104 degrees when the rash appears.
  • The illness usually lasts between one and two weeks.

2. The virus is highly contagious.    

  • Measles spreads through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes.
  • Ninety percent of people who are not vaccinated or have a compromised immune system will contract measles if they are exposed.
  • The virus can live for up to two hours on a surface. That means you can get measles without ever being in the same room as an infected individual. Wash your hands!
  • You can spread measles four days before and four days after the rash appears.
  • Infants (who are too young to receive the vaccine), pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of contracting the virus.

3. Measles can be serious, particularly in children.

  • There is no specific treatment for measles.
  • About one in four people in the U.S. who get the virus will need to be hospitalized.
  • Measles can lead to serious complications, such as brain swelling and pneumonia. Vitamin A supplements may help decrease these complications.
  • Even with the best medical care, one or two out of every 1,000 people with measles will die.

4. Outbreaks still occur in the U.S. 

  • In 2000, the CDC declared measles eliminated in the U.S. However, since 2010, between 63 and 667 cases have been reported each year.
  • As more parents decide not to vaccine their children or delay vaccinations, outbreaks become more common.
  • Measles is still a widespread problem in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Most cases in the U.S. occur when people who are not immunized travel abroad.  

5. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective.

  • Get vaccinated! Make sure everyone in your family has the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
  • There is no link between vaccines and autism.
  • The best way to protect you and your family is to stick to the recommended immunization schedule:
    • The first dose at 12 through 15 months of age
    • The second dose at 4 through 6 years of age
    • Babies traveling outside the U.S. can be given the MMR vaccine at 6 through 11 months of age. However, this does not count as one of the MMR shots required for school entry. They will still need two more doses at the recommended intervals. 
  • You do not need a 2nd booster shot after the 4 to 6 year vaccine. Once you receive two doses of MMR, it is 97% effective.

References:

  1. Interview with Daniel E. Hermann, MD, MPH, Chair of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Summit Medical Group.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles Cases and Outbreaks. Web. 2017 Jan 10.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently Asked Questions about Measles in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 2016 June 17. 
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Top 4 Things Parents Need to Know about Measles. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 2015 February 2015. 

 

 

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Police Issue Alert for Missing New Brunswick Girl (LOCATED)

June 21, 2018

UPDATE: Payton has been located.

NEW BRUNSWICK - Police today issued a plea for the public’s help in finding a missing 13-year-old girl.

Payton Tomesell, was last seen on Wednesday at 18 Abeel St., authorities said.

The girl suffers from anxiety and depression, and is taking medication, police said.

Tomesell is described as 5-feet, 9-inches tall, weighing about 120 pounds.

Obituaries

Piscataway – Michael John Doherty, 73, passed away Saturday June 16, 2018 in Las Vegas, ...
Read more
Toms River – Mary Stella Whiteman, 97, passed away peacefully Saturday May 19, 2018 in Rose ...
Read more

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019 and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019

and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018  – Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-2019, with an increase in total program funding at 15% ...

The ESCNJ Offers Innovative Software To Strengthen School Transportation

New software promising greater speed and efficiency for school transportation departments is now available through the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ).

The software is the result of a two year collaboration between the Princeton based Artha Systems, an international supplier of business management software, and the ESCNJ.

“The software is unlike anything on the ...

Rutgers takes over New Brunswick police dispatch service

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University will provide the city’s police dispatching services in a move that New Brunswick says will cut costs and put an end to dispatcher shortages that resulted in officers doing the job.

The city’s 12 current dispatchers will be laid off at the end of the day on June 30, and Rutgers will supply dispatchers as of July 1 under an agreement that city ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8f0a915f696bb2ae1366_community_shred

Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Quibbletown Park, Piscataway

Piscataway Township Paper Shredding Event

Government Green

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway

Empowerment for the Job Search: Applications & ...

Business & Finance

Thu, July 5, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway

Trivia Night at the Library!

Arts & Entertainment

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

June 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

My So-Called Graduation

The last of my children graduated from high school.  

 

My son and daughter threw their caps high into the air and cheered their liberation from one symbolic institution before contemplating their matriculation into other, much larger institutions significantly further away.  

 

Or at least far enough away that they won’t be needing rides home from ...