• 54°

Dr. Magryta: Measles is a serious disease

August 15, 2016: A measles case has surfaced in Wake County in an unvaccinated teenager returning from Europe.

Whether this index case will spread around the state is still in process and we will watch it carefully.

Vigilance is the key to preventing an outbreak. An educated populace is ready to recognize the disease early, seek medical help and quarantine the infected.

What is measles?

Measles is a serious, highly contagious and potentially deadly viral infection, spread by contact with droplets from an infected person’s nose, mouth or throat. Sneezing and coughing can aerosolize the droplets and increase the range of infectious spread. Symptoms usually develop 8 to 10 days following exposure to an infected individual.

Measles presents with high fever, rash, cough, myalgias, sore throat and red eyes. Children often look very sick. The rash begins 14 days after exposure and is characterized by red bumps that start on the head and move down the body. The illness can be mild or severe. Some children go on to get encephalitis, a brain inflammatory disorder that can be deadly. This occurs in 1 in 1000 cases of measles. Other complications include: pneumonia, ear infections and sinusitis.

Measles is very dangerous for pregnant women. It can cause premature birth and miscarriage.

Since I have never seen this disease, I am again avidly reviewing the pictures and clinical history. I encourage those with unvaccinated children to seriously reconsider their position on the vaccine or at least know what the illness looks like. Go to Google images and look at the rash and Koplik spots, which are pathognomonic for the illness.

If you think that you or your child may have measles, it is imperative that you inform your medical provider, or the location to which you are going — prior to showing up — so that appropriate precautions can be taken to isolate the infected person. Walking into the waiting room dramatically increases viral spread, as it is spread through coughing and can live on any surface for two hours. Others can then touch a surface containing viral particles and become infected. This is how contagion begins.

Measles is not treatable but you can take Vitamin A as prescribed by your physician to help with the illness, or to potentially prevent it. If you have a known exposure, seek medical help for possible vaccination or immune globulin therapy (especially if you are high risk: pregnant women, infants and people with weakened immune systems).

From the desk of Megan Davies, NC State Epidemiologist:

“Any patient presenting with a febrile [accompanied by fever] rash illness should be immediately isolated, using airborne isolation precautions if possible.

“Unvaccinated persons who have been exposed to a person with measles should be advised to stay home for 21 days from the last exposure and limit contact with others to avoid spreading the illness.”

Be ready.

Dr. Magryta is a physician at Salisbury Pediatric Associates. Contact him at newsletter@salisburypediatrics.com

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Elections

GOP slowly gaining nationwide as early vote total surpasses 2016

Local

BlockWork returns for 10th year of beautification

Local

Big Chili Cook Off changes format, sells 250 tickets

Lifestyle

Kiwanis Club names five recipients of Centennial Awards

Lifestyle

Rowan County bridge dedicated to local police officer who made ultimate sacrifice

Local

Camp Barnhardt to host drive-in movie, trick-or-treat

Business

Spicing things up: Mise En Place food truck finds success serving Indian fare

Lifestyle

Church foundation distributes record amount of money

Business

Biz Roundup: ‘Forward Rowan’ continues to draw support, raise money

Education

School board set to vote on Faith, Enochville closures Monday

Health

Local health officials worry pandemic will cause long-term effects for children’s health

Local

Ordinance change needed to address night train noise in Salisbury

Elections

Election 2020: Heggins, Warren talk racial injustice, economy

News

Cunningham keeps low in NC Senate race marked by his affair

BREAKING NEWS

Two bodies found in home on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Man arrested in Kannapolis plotted to kill Biden, found with guns, explosive material, court documents state

Local

Flagger clipped by vehicle, taken to hospital with minor injuries

Coronavirus

County finishes week with five deaths, one of 36 to receive letter from state health officials

Business

Salisbury Newsmedia reaches agreement to sell Innes Street building; Post to remain tenant

Crime

Blotter: Teens attempt to break into Gerry Wood Auto Group

Crime

Man faces arson charges for Kannapolis camper fire

Business

New tenant hopes to lease former K&W Cafeteria building

Nation/World

Trump, Biden go after each other on coronavirus, taxes

Coronavirus

County adds three more COVID-19 deaths to total