RICHTON, MS (WDAM) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 90 new cases of the measles in the U.S. this week, bringing the total to 555 for the year, which is the second most cases since the disease was eliminated in 2000.
Thankfully, there have been no reported cases of the measles in Mississippi since 1992, according to the Mississippi Department of Health. But you should still be aware of the symptoms and take action now to prevent the spread of measles.
Richton physician Dr. Steven Woodward said your child may have the measles if you recognize they have a high fever.
“Occasionally they can develop spots in their mouth along with the rash,” said Woodward.
The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected, according to the CDC. Measles typically begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose (coryza), and red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).
Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.
Woodward said look for these signs to see if your child is infected.
Dr. Woodward said vaccination is the best way for you to avoid this preventable disease.
“Well, the most important reason you want to vaccinate your children is to protect them,” said Woodward. “Not only from illness but also to protect the public so that they don’t spread it to other people."
The CDC says that the MMR vaccine is very safe, and it is effective at preventing measles as well as mumps and rubella.
The leading national public health institute of the United States says vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, but most children who get the MMR vaccine have no side effects.
“Treatment for all of this is just symptomatic treatment as far as treating the fever, supportive care with IV fluids in the event that they’re getting dehydrated,” said Dr. Woodward
For the 2017 to 2018 school year, the Mississippi vaccination rate was around 100 percent on the charts. That number stands for more than 39,000 children entering kindergarten.
If you begin to suspect your child may have the measles, you should immediately call a doctor.