Tags: Health Topics | Vaccines | Measles | Children | Risk | Health

Top 10 Risks for Children Who Get the Measles

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 05:16 PM

Measles is a highly contagious, viral disease that becomes infectious even before symptoms show up. It can spread through airborne transmission and direct contact to people who haven't received vaccines. The disease causes a high fever and a rash of red spots on the head and the rest of the body.

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine prevents measles and is routinely given to infants to render them immune to the disease. A stand-alone vaccine for measles is also available. Exposure to measles causes an unvaccinated person to succumb to the disease 90 percent of the time.

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Here are 10 risks unvaccinated children face if they get measles:

1. Pneumonia is a common respiratory complication for children who contract measles. The serious lung infection is the most common cause of death from measles for young children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. Measles can cause inflammation of the larynx or voice box or inflame the inner walls that line the air passageways of the lungs, resulting in bronchitis, laryngitis or croup.

3. The disease can cause ulceration of the cornea or corneal scarring, leading to loss of sight and blindness.

4. Bacterial ear infections from measles can result in permanent hearing loss and deafness for children.

5. Diarrhea and dehydration from measles can be serious and even fatal for young children, says the CDC.

6. Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain caused by viral infection, may occur during a bout of measles and even months later. This can result in mental disability and brain damage, reports the Mayo Clinic.

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7. Measles can lead to a decrease in the body's ability to make platelets, particles in the blood that help in the clotting process. Blood clotting is necessary to prevent excessive bleeding.

8. Pregnant women who haven't received vaccines and contract measles can pass the disease onto their unborn babies. Babies can be born prematurely or have low birth weights. Miscarriages may also occur.

9. Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a progressive neurological disorder, is a slow viral infection caused by measles. It can occur in children who had measles seven to 10 years earlier.

10. Death can result from the complications of measles. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two of them die from it.

No antiviral treatment can be administered after a child contracts measles. Fever reducers and liquids help to treat severe symptoms. The disease remains one of the leading causes of death for young children worldwide, even though vaccines are available.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Measles is a highly contagious, viral disease that becomes infectious even before symptoms show up. It can spread through airborne transmission and direct contact to people who haven't received vaccines.
Vaccines, Measles, Children, Risk, Health
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2015-16-10
Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 05:16 PM
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