Stories about: vaccinations

Measles: What Parents Need to Know

The MMR vaccine is the most efficient protection against measles

For years, measles has been rare in the United States, thanks to immunization.  But recently, that has changed.  This year we’ve seen lots of outbreaks, mostly started by unimmunized people going to or coming from countries that have lots of measles—and then giving the infection to unimmunized people here.  In Massachusetts we have had 24 cases of measles this year—19 since May!

What is measles?

Measles, also called rubeola, is a very contagious respiratory illness.

What causes it?

Measles is caused by a virus.  It is spread through the air when people with the illness cough, sneeze, or simply breathe near someone else.  It lives in the mucus of infected people, so if an infected person has mucus on their hands (from touching their mouth or nose) and touches something (like a doorknob), they can leave the virus behind for others to catch.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, sore throat, rash, red eyes, cough, and body aches.  Sometimes people with measles get white spots in their mouth called Koplik spots.  The spots in the mouth and rash usually start a few days after the illness has begun, so at the beginning it can be hard to tell measles from the common cold or flu.

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This week on Thrive July 19-23

Thanks to advancements in medicine and vaccination, many diseases have been all but eradicated. But as powerful as modern medicine has become, there are still holes in its defenses, as proven by a recent Californian outbreak of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, that is well on its way to being the most widespread outbreak the state has seen in 50 years. Learn how the process of cocooning can protect newborns before they’re old enough to be vaccinated against these diseases.

Claire McCarthy, MD, weighs in on the dangers (and advantages) of online symptom checkers and how some parents rely on the internet to help figure out what’s wrong with their sick kids.

How young is too young for cosmetic surgery? Brian Labow, MD, a pediatric plastic surgeon at Children’s Hospital Boston talked FOX25 Morning News to discuss the topic of teen cosmetic surgery.

Children’s gives transgender tween new hope. Read about this young person with gender identity disorder (GID) or transgenderism, and the progressive treatment she received at Children’s.

When lecturing their kids about the dangers of drugs, many parents are put in tough position when their kids question their own past experiences with drugs and alcohol. Read advice from our expert who says honesty is the best policy when talking to your kids about you own past history with controlled substances.

The Health Family Fun website offers advice on how to limit your family’s time in front of the TV and curb some of their junk food intake.

Children’s Dennis Rosen, MD, wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times about the shrinking field of pediatric specialists and how this could be severely limit the quality health care available to many of our nation’s children.

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