Updated 01:17 AM EDT, Tue, Oct 26, 2021

Measles Outbreak 2015 Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment: 5 Important Things to Remember

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As of press time, the measles epidemic in America has infected at least 95 individuals, CBS News reported. The majority of this number is attributed to the outbreak that started in Disneyland.

According to the California Department of Public Health, the state of California has the most number of cases, with 79 total infections. Fifty-two of this portion are linked directly to Disney Parks, ABC News cited. Arizona succeeds California with the most number of infections.

CBS wrote that measles has been confirmed in other states such as Michigan, Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Nebraska. Mexico is also part of the list.

As told by Time, one California high school recently scheduled a two-week suspension for 66 students who have not been fully immunized. CNN took note of Mary Perry's remarks, the school district spokeswoman. "They are going to be asked to stay home until the incubation period for contagion is complete," she said.

Here are five important points to remember about the highly-contagious disease, also known as Rubeola:

1. Measles is caused by a virus.

According to the World Health Organization, measles is a serious disease of viral origin, an organism that belongs to the paramyxovirus family. Despite the availability of vaccines, the health outlet reported that measles is one of the leading causes of mortality among young children. The source has recorded 145,700 measles-related fatalities in 2013, majority of which were under five years of age.

2. Measles usually presents respiratory and integumentary symptoms.

The clinical manifestations of measles appear after 10 to 14 days following exposure to the causative agent, the Mayo Clinic informed. That said, the patient won't feel any symptoms immediate upon infection. This is known as the incubation period (varies).

The above outlet listed typical signs and symptoms of measles infection below:

- fever

- dry cough

- runny nose

- sore throat

- inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)

- tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek (Koplik's spots)

- a skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another

3. Measles is best diagnosed via blood and saliva test.

A combination of signs and symptoms may give the physician an impression of measles, but Patient.co.uk noted that blood or saliva is usually obtained for confirmatory testing. Such tests determine the presence of the virus.

4. Measles leads to life-threatening complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed that measles can cause common and severe complications.

Common complications include ear infections and diarrhea, while severe complications include pneumonia (lung infection) and encephalitis (brain inflammation). The pregnant woman infected by measles may give birth to a low-birth-weight or premature baby.

One long-term complication, the subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), is said to be very rare but fatal to the human central nervous system.

5. Measles may be managed and prevented.

Considering the nature of its causative agent, no specific treatment exists to cure measles. However, supportive measures may be taken to address the patient's condition, which usually improves in 7 - 10 days.

Management includes control of fever, adequate hydration and steam inhalation, NHS Choices wrote. However, the latter is not advised for children, considering the risk of scalding. As with any management procedure, caution is recommended.

Measles is prevented by the MMR (Measles / Mumps / Rubeola) vaccine. The amount of vaccine given to individuals vary by age, but the CDC informed that its use has reduced cases by over 99% compared to the pre-vaccinated era. Check this out for more information.

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