Measles may be rare, but a doctor says you shouldn’t rule it out

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Measles may be considered a rare disease, but Franciscan Physician Network Director of Infectious Disease David Lin said it’s still out there.

“It still shows up every once in a while,” said Lin. “If you catch it and you’re not immune, it can cause significant problems.”

Measles is a highly contagious, airborne disease that can lead to pneumonia and brain swelling. It can be fatal, mainly in children under age 5.

“Usually, the people who contract it, contract it from someone who is either about to get sick or is sick,” said Lin.

Early symptoms include a runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and spots inside of the mouth that look like grains of salt. People will also get a fever that will go up with a splotchy red rash showing up on their face, eventually spreading to the rest of the body. However, Lin said avoiding the measles is simple.

“Measles is a bad actor,” said Lin. “It can be very, very dangerous, and that’s why vaccination is so important.”

Lin said chances are low, but even with the vaccination you could still catch it. But he said typically the cases where people have been vaccinated are less severe, and it helps keep those who are too young or can’t be vaccinated safe.

“Just the fact that more people in the community are protected helps protect everybody as a whole and helps prevent the outbreak of disease,” said Lin.

So far, no cases of measles have been reported in Indiana this year. If you or a loved one have any symptoms of the measles, Lin said to call your doctor first to avoid potentially exposing someone else.

For more information on preventing measles, click here.

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