Facts and Symptoms Of Measles In Children
|Measles – CDC|
With the recent new outbreak of measles in the United States, it is normal for parents to be concerned about their children’s wellbeing. There are parents of some children that should be more concerned about them being exposed to the virus, but if your child has been vaccinated, you should have less concern. There are some children that are more susceptible of getting the virus, whereas others are not.
Many parents are refusing to vaccinate their children against childhood diseases, because of the potential link to autism. While there have been no scientific studies that have shown that vaccinations are linked to Autism, parents are still continuing to refuse the vaccines. Thanks to former, British surgeon and gastroenterologist, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who professed to have discovered a new disorder, Autistic Enterocolitis, which was later disapproved. He first linked measles with Crohn’s disease, then later linked the MMR with Autism. It was later proven that he altered the tests, which is how he was able to prove that the combination of the MMR vaccine was related to Autism. Wakefield is now disbarred from practicing in the United Kingdom and resides in the United States.
Children Under The Age Of One
Children under the age of one are unvaccinated against measles, because the first MMR injection is not given, until the child turns one year old. The vaccine contains a weakened, but live virus and this concerns pediatricians so the second dose is not given until the child turns four years old. These children are still highly susceptible of getting measles, until they receive their second dose of the MMR vaccine. While some parents prefer to wait, until the child is a little bit older, it is proven that the vaccine is more effective if it is administered, before the age of six.
Children and adults that have cancer or congenital immunodeficiency are immunocompromised and at high risk for getting measles. In these cases, the immune system is very weak or absent and unable to fight off infections caused by protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. Other people that may be at high risk for getting measles include elderly, HIV victims, sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, and the malnourished. Chemotherapy, antirheumatic, and immunosuppressive drugs will cause one to suffer from secondary immunodeficiency.
Dangers Of Measles
While measles have not been classified as a dangerous virus there are some secondary complications that can arise from the disease. Common, but non-serious secondary complications include; ear infections and diarrhea. Another more serious secondary complication includes pneumonia, which can be life threatening if untreated.
– One in every thousand children that gets measles will develop encephalitis (CDC)
– One or two in every thousand children that gets measles will die (CDC)
Signs & Symptoms of Measles in Children
There are several common symptoms of measles in children. After being exposed to the measles virus, your child may not experience any signs or symptoms for up to fourteen days. Some common symptoms include; cough, runny nose, fever (104 Degrees F or higher), and conjunctivitis. If your child begins to experience the secondary complications of measles, you should seek medical attention. Three days after being infected with measles, you may see tiny white spots in your child’s mouth, which is a common symptom and should cause no further complications. Between three to five days into the infection, you will see a red, flat spotty rash, which will appear on the facial area extending down the arms and legs, with a high temperature spike. These symptoms will subside, after a few days and hopefully your child will not experience any further issues caused by the measles virus.