The Mouse and the Measles

I never thought I would be dealing with measurements in my lifetime. It was just another morning. We were all awake and rushing around the house to get ready for work. I think we all had a little post-vacation stress syndrome. We had spent the previous week on vacation at the great home of the mouse! It had to be the largest amusement park I had ever been too. They advertise amazing four night, five day travel deals but they neglect to include the cost of food and some of the adjacent activities. We spent a lot of money but it will be a lasting memory for the kids.

As I poked my head into my daughter's room, I was not sure she was awake. I reached across her bed and tugged on her shoulder. She rolled over and it was quite a shock. He face was covered with red spots. Of course the first thing that crossed my mind was measles. I could not believe it considering we had lightly taken the kids to a Southern Chicago Suburbs Hospital just a few years ago for their booster shots.

Measles has been all but eradicated in the United States but there are still a few cases that pop up. It is much more of a problem in third world countries but the vaccine is being used more broadly these days. There was a burst of cases in England in 2007 but the spread was quickly stamped by aggressive treatment and further vaccination. In the United States, most schools require the vaccination before even giving the child enter the school. In our world of modern medicine, the fatality rate for measles is only 3 deaths per 1,000 cases!

I took my daughter to Wilmington Illinois Hospital for treatment. She had the classic symptoms including a high fever, runny nose, red eyes and persistent cough. Of course, this is toppled off by the tell-tale spots – actually a rash covering the entire body and associated with the high fever. The fever can reach 104 degrees and the whole episode lasts approximately four days. Recovery takes less than a week but we knew the hospital could help alleviate the symptoms.

The doctor at Wilmington Hospital explained that measles can be spread through bodily fluids including being too close to the sneeze of an infected person. He had heard there was a small outbreak that stemmed from a foreign visitor at the amusement park; very unusual but still possible.