Countless “pundits” have taken to the airwaves in recent weeks, talking about the measles. Here at Fix The Cause Chiropractic, where we believe knowledge is power, we want our patients to know the facts about measles.
Fact 1: Measles is considered a MILD endemic disease (nothing like Ebola!)
(Endemic: “a disease in a particular population with low mortality.”) Contrary to the alarmists, who have been claiming “this is a horrible disease,” treatment largely consists of keeping the child comfortable and letting the disease run its course. A rash on the face is the first sign of the disease (it later spreads to the rest of the body). High fever is common and must be managed. Any eye, ear or upper respiratory symptoms should be treated appropriately, and if any of these symptoms appear, let your medical doctor know immediately.
Fact 2: Measles is a virus, so antibiotics are ineffective against it
Measles typically runs its course in 10 days. It is passed through coughing and sneezing, not through the rash on the skin. It is considered to be contagious from four days before the rash appears until four days after the rash appears, and after exposure, it takes 10-14 days for symptoms to appear. Prior to vaccinations, practically every child developed immunity to measles before the age of 15. The biggest risk of complications occur in the very young and the elderly with compromised immune systems. (From The Mayo Clinic) Vitamin A increases your resistance to measles and decreases the likelihood of severe symptoms.
Fact 3: Most complications are mild and manageable
In underdeveloped nations, the primary factors linked to complications are malnutrition and population overcrowding. In the US, severe complications occur at a rate of less than 1 every 100,000 cases. Most hospitalizations occur due to an ear infection or upper respiratory infection that the child developed at the same time. NEVER GIVE YOUR CHILD ASPIRIN if they have measles! This can cause Reye’s Syndrome, which is a serious complication.
Fact 4: Catching measles almost always makes you immune the rest of your life!
Allowing natural progression of a disease to be defeated by the immune system gives the body a “memory” of how to defeat the disease in the future. This memory is permanent and can be passed down from mother to child, improving the child’s ability to defeat measles without complication! HOWEVER, “immunity” that results from vaccinations is not permanent, cannot be passed to children, and boosters must be constantly given for the rest of life if the person wishes to remain free from the measles.
We hope this simple fact sheet can alleviate some of the fear being spread by the press and alarmists across the country. Measles must be taken seriously, as if it is mismanaged it can have serious consequences, even death! However, the massive medical improvements of the past four decades can help us effectively manage the symptoms and make measles a mild disease – like it used to be for almost everyone.
References: Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 15th Edition; Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide by Romm; www.mayoclinic.org