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Diseases DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Measles Measles is a very contagious viral disease that spreads easily through the air. Children can get measles from infected people who cough or sneeze around them, talk to them, or are in the same room with them. Measles begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pinkeye). A rash starts on the face and upper neck, spreads down the back and trunk, then extends to the arms, hands, legs, and feet. After about five days, the rash fades in the same order it appeared. A child’s doctor may recommend an over- the-counter medication to reduce fever and discomfort. Never give aspirin to children with viral illnesses like measles! Aspirin has been associated with the development of Reye syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition. Measles can have serious complications, such as diarrhea, ear infection, croup, pneumonia, and encephalitis. Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, can cause deafness, intellectual disability, and death. Measles is preventable! All children should be immunized. Measles is not common in the United States because most children are immunized. However, the disease is common in other countries and can easily be brought into the United States. The measles vaccine is usually given as part of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunization. The first dose is given at twelve to fifteen months. The second dose is usually given at four to six years. From Hip on Health: Health Information for Caregivers and Families by Charlotte M. Hendricks. Published by Redleaf Press. www.redleafpress.org. 14 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL