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What are some facts about measles?

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Measles is a viral infection, also known as rubeola, that occurs mainly in children, states Mayo Clinic. It causes thousands of deaths per year, but in areas where vaccination is common, the prevalence of measles drops enormously.

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Common symptoms of measles include dry cough, sore throat, tiny white spots inside the cheeks, fever and runny nose, says Mayo Clinic. Other common symptoms include inflamed eyes and a skin rash made up of interconnected red blotches. It usually takes between 10 and 14 days after the initial exposure to the measles virus for symptoms to appear. The first symptoms of measles are generally fever, upper respiratory symptoms and eye inflammation, followed by the appearance of the rash. A person is generally contagious until four days after the rash's appearance.

People with low vitamin A levels often have more severe cases of measles, so early treatment with a dose of vitamin A can be helpful, Mayo Clinic explains. Other treatments include fever reducers, plenty of rest and plenty of fluids. If a secondary infection develops, such as pneumonia, treatment with antibiotic medications may be necessary. It is important that anyone who has not received a measles vaccine be kept away from the person with measles until it is no longer contagious.

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