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Measles

Measles

Measles used to be a common childhood ailment, most frequently affecting children from 6 months of age up to 5 years old. It is very contagious. Many children are now vaccinated against this disease. This common ailment is known by the red spotty rash that appears on the skin.

Measles Symptoms

Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, coughing, sore throat and a fever. A rash begins with small dots that quickly enlarge and join together. Spots with white centers and a red ring appear in the mouth. The patient may also be sensitive to light.

Causes

This disease is caused by a virus. It is highly contagious and has an incubation time of 9 to 11 days from first exposure to the first symptoms being seen. It is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. People who are immune suppressed or who are malnourished have compromised immune systems and will contract measles more easily.

Cautions

Measles can be complicated with ear infections, pneumonia, and encephalitis. The virus is spread when the patient coughs and sneezes, or has direct contact with infected secretions.

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