WNY Family Magazine September 2018 - Page 48

s s e n l l e W Choices CDC Warns of Uptick in Measles Cases Y ou may be hearing a lot about measles lately. And all of this news on TV, social media, Internet, newspapers and magazines may leave you won- dering what you as a parent really need to know about this dis- ease. The Centers for Disease Control has put together a list of the most important facts about measles for parents. 1) Measles can be serious. Some people think of measles as just a little rash and fever that clears up in a few days, but measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years of age. There is no way to tell in advance the severity of the symptoms your child will experi- ence.  About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized  1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage  1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care 2) Measles is very contagious. Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so con- tagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. Your child can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he/she has the disease — from four days before developing the measles rash through four days afterward. 3) Your child can still get measles in United States. Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 thanks to a highly effective vaccination program. Eliminated means that the disease is no longer constantly present in this country. However, measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Af- rica. Worldwide, 19 cases of measles per 1 million persons are reported each year and 89,780 people, mostly children, die from the disease.  Even if your family does n