Protecting Your Children from Measles
The following is an excerpt from a WDAM news story about this year’s spike in measles cases across the U.S. among unvaccinated populations. WDAM’s Jessica Bowman sat down with Nicole Carden, MD, at Children’s Clinic – Petal, to talk about how parents can help their kids avoid this potentially life threatening illness. **NOTE: This article has been edited since this story originally aired to reflect the most up-to-date statistics, as of March 4, 2019)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting more than 200 cases of measles in the United States.
The CDC is warning you about measles cases and outbreaks. WDAM spoke to a local pediatrician to gather information you need to know to protect yourself and your children.
According to the CDC, from the beginning of January 2019 through the end of February, 206 cases of measles were confirmed in 11 different states.
“Including Texas and Georgia closes to us. We did have cases of measles in Mississippi last year, so it’s pertinent to us,” said Dr. Nicole Carden, a Hattiesburg Clinic pediatrician at Children’s Clinic in Petal.
Carden said measles can affect any age group and the viral infection is highly contagious.
“The person who is infected doesn’t even have to be in the room with you anymore for you to contract it,” Carden said. “People who are susceptible, up to 90 percent of them, can get it after being exposed to someone with measles.”
Symptoms can begin showing after a period of anywhere between six to 21 days after exposure.
“Really high fever, cough congestion, runny nose, and there can be a rash on the inside of the mouth,” Carden said.
Another symptom to look out for is a [skin] rash.
“The thing that makes the measles rash a little more specific to the measles is the way that it progresses,” Carden said. “It usually starts on your face, little red bumps that can kind of join together so, these big red patches will move down your neck into your torso, belly and then into your extremities.”
Carden said measles complications can be severe. Click here for more.