The Doctor Weighs in on the Measles Vaccine

by Laurie on February 3, 2015

Measles, What You Need to Know

It is hard to imagine that just over 50 years ago there was not a measles vaccine available in the United States and most children contracted measles by age 15. That means that approximately 3 to 4 million Americans were infected annually, that 400 to 500 died, 48,000 ended up in the hospital and 4,000 developed encephalitis which is swelling of the brain according to the CDC. Even though measles was declared eliminated (absence of continuous disease transmission for greater than 12 months) in the United States in 2000 we continue to have outbreaks with the largest occurring last year with 644 cases. This year we already have 84 cases that have been linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in California. Although, the investigation is ongoing it appears the majority of infected individuals were not vaccinated.

The vaccine is 97% effective after two doses of the vaccine, the first at 12-15 months old and the second at 4 to 6 years old. Only 3 out of every 100 people vaccinated will contract the measles and the disease is typically much milder than those who are unvaccinated. So your best protection is vaccination.

Here are the facts about measles.
• Symptoms appear 7 to 14 days after exposure.
• Symptoms begin with high fever up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes.
• Two to three days later small white spots may appear in the mouth called Koplik spots.
• During days three to five the trademark rash will appear, starting as flat red spots at the hairline spreading downward to the neck, body and then outward to the arms, legs and feet.
• The flat red spots may become raised and then the spots may run together as the rash spreads.
• Symptoms may last up to a week.
• The measles is spread through coughing, sneezing and contacting a contaminated surface as the virus can survive up to two hours outside its human host.
• The measles is highly contagious infecting up to 90% of unimmunized people who come into contact with an infected person.
• Infected individuals are contagious for four days before and four days after the rash appears.
• Complications of the measles include pneumonia, encephalitis, diarrhea, ear infections and death.
• A very rare and serious complication is subacute sclerosing pancephalitis (SSPE) that occurs 7 to 10 years after a person has contracted and recovered from the measles. It affects the central nervous system and is fatal.

Remember vaccination is your best protection and if you are unsure if you are immune or had the vaccination ask your doctor for laboratory confirmation that you are immune or you can get the vaccine. There is no harm in receiving the vaccine again if you did as a child. You will need to receive two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine separated by 28 days.

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Who among us has not made a New Year’s resolution only to watch it drift away over a course of days to weeks, never accomplished? The gyms are full the first few days of the New Year only to be empty the following week. How do the few who make serious changes in their lives do it? Here is a simple method to help you realize your goals and not only conquer those New Year’s resolutions but transform your life.

1. First you must be mentally prepared. Goals and dreams start with desires to achieve something you have not done before. You can sit and daydream but that gets you nowhere fast. Change requires action and that requires getting very specific about your goal and being laser focused on it. Your goals should be realistic and time bound. For example, your goal is weight loss. You must be clear-cut on what you mean by weight loss. Do you want to lose 2 pounds a week or lose 50 pounds in a year? Do you want to lose the muffin top or see your six-pack abs? Do you want to run 3 miles in a month for an upcoming fun run or run a marathon in 6 months? The fantastic thing about goals is you get to decide what defines your success! Now that you have a goal move on to the next step.

2. Write down your goal! When you write down your objectives it makes them real and tangible. When you take the time to think about them and write them down it solidifies it, like a contract with yourself. Be specific about how you want to reach your goals. Will you change your diet completely over night or gradually? Will you run for exercise or do cross fit? There is no right or wrong road but you must take the first step to begin your transformation! You must be the leader of your own journey, no one else can live your life for yourself.

3. Call in the troops. Humans were not intended to live alone. We are social creatures and when we share our desires and goals with others there is an added pressure to succeed. It is a lot easier to turn off the alarm early in the morning when you are only accountable to yourself but when your friend will be meeting you for a morning run at the track you will get up.

4. Find the passion that is fueling your goals. When you get stuck in a rut and don’t want to continue on your quest, emotions are what will get you moving again. Champions are not made when they win a race, they are created with the sweat, tears and the daily grind before the race ever happened. Focus on the end result and imagine the emotions tied to YOUR victory, not anyone else’s but your very own! What will be like to know that you succeeded in changing the course of your life’s journey? Here is a hint, it will be glorious! You will be ready to take on another challenge because your spark has now turned into a roaring fire and the confidence is addicting and you will not want to let go of it!

Finally, get out there and conquer your dreams! You can do it!

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Surviving the Holidays without Adding to your Waistline

December 2, 2014

Who doesn’t love the joys and thrills of the holidays? Celebrations of thanksgiving, gift giving, seeing family and friends, traveling, beautiful decorations, and of course mouth watering food will surround many of us, tempting us to consume more calories in one meal than we need in a day. Here are some tips to help you […]

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No Dairy, No Oil, Pure Goodness Butternut Squash Soup

October 22, 2014

As I am sitting here waiting for my second batch of butternut squash soup to simmer I thought I would write up this simple recipe for you. This stuff is highly addictive and deliciously good for you. I made a huge batch last time and it was gone in 24 hours, but I’m doubling that […]

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Ebola or the Flu? Which should you be more concerned about?

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Don’t Become a Statistic

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Here are a few sobering facts you should know about America’s health trends. According to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than one third of adult Americans are obese (34.9%) and the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the US was $147 billion in 2008. Obesity related conditions include heart […]

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Decreasing Your Risks for Colon Cancer by What is on Your Fork

March 10, 2014

This month we celebrate National Nutrition Month and Colorectal Cancer Month and we will discuss how they are intertwined.. According to the Centers for Disease Control of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in […]

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Delicious Lettuce Wraps that are Gluten and Soy Free

February 12, 2014

What you need. ½ cup brown rice (not cooked) 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. Water ¼ cup Veggie Broth or Water 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced ½ cup Red Onion, Diced ½ cup Red Bell Pepper, Diced 1- 15 oz. Can of Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed 1 cup Baby Spinach 1 Chopped Roma Tomato ½ […]

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Thursday Fitness Challenge

February 6, 2014

Good morning everyone! I hope this week has been a blessing for you! Today is Fitness Thursday and I love to encourage people to move in any way possible. So I want to teach you about non-exercise activity (NEAT). Basically, it is the goal of increasing your movement through out the day as much as […]

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Tuesday Family Challenge

February 4, 2014

Good morning everyone! How is your week going? I pray God is ever present in your daily life. Today is Tuesday Family challenge where we focus on improving our family relationships through activities, prayer, and gratitude. Today brainstorm with your family or friends a “family hobby”. Something that can be easily worked into your weekly […]

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