Finding out that you or your child have measles can be frightening. This highly contagious disease can leave those infected feeling very sick for weeks. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1 in 4 people who get measles in the U.S. end up in the hospital. Children under the age of 5 are especially at risk of developing serious complications. The good news however, is that the disease can be prevented. Here are some important things to know about measles and what to look out for.
1. What is Measles?
Measles is often thought of as a skin condition accompanied by fever. However, it’s actually a respiratory infection. This infection is caused by a virus that lives in the mucus of the nose and throat. The virus is highly contagious and is spread both by air and direct contact. If you are not vaccinated and end up in the same room with someone who has measles, there is a 90% chance that you will become infected.