MEASLES

CAUSES – Measles is a virus that can be contracted by direct contact.  People that are infected carry the virus in their respiratory tract before they get sick; therefore, they can spread the disease without being aware of it.

TREATMENT – It is very important to contact your child’s pediatrician if you suspect that your child has the measles.  Your child’s school will need to be notified.  The pediatrician should prescribe bed rest, plenty of liquids, and soft-foods diet that are easily to digest.  If a family member has not been exposed, the doctor may give a gamma globulin injection to lessen the course of the illness. Home treatment alone is not recommended.  You should contact your primary healthcare provider for other treatment options.

PREVENTION – Children in the United States usually receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before entering school.  At birth, children are put on a schedule in which to receive specific inoculations.   Children will get their first dose of the measles immunization at 12-15 months of age.  The second dose of the immunization is given when the child is 4 to 6 or 10 to 12 years old.

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