As the number of measles cases hits a record high this year, surpassing previous annual totals this century, parents are raising concerns. The disease, which was once eliminated in the United States, has resurfaced and spread across 23 states with an estimated 764 cases in May 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What is the measles?
A highly contagious airborne virus, the measles is transmitted by direct contact and infectious droplets. The virus can live on surfaces for up to two hours and can be spread days before visible symptoms are present or after recovery. Initial symptoms include fever, runny nose, watery eyes, followed by a rash starting from the head and spreading to the rest of the body. In some cases, measles can cause severe health complications including pneumonia and encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain. Read more