Jun 11, 2013 9:28 AM by Marissa Torres
As Colorado deals with the second reported case of Measles in the state since 2006, doctors are warning families about the signs and symptoms.
The state Department of Public Health and Environment says the first case-reported in the Denver area- is a man who recently traveled to India. We're told the second patient was exposed to that man while visiting the same doctor's office. Now health experts say more cases could start popping up.
It's regarded as one of the most contagious- and if not treated-dangerous diseases.
Measles is an infection of the respiratory system-caused by a virus- that later shows itself in the form of a reddish-brown rash.
People can catch it by coming in direct contact with an infected person's nose or mouth. Even just breathing the same air puts you at risk.
"Somebody sneezes, the child touches the affected area, there's a 90 percent chance that they're going to come down with the measles," says Dr. Spencer Walker with Southern Colorado Clinic.
Most children are vaccinated in the United States where we see about 50 cases a year.
Compare that to the rest of the world, where Measles infects about 20 million people each year; 200,000 cases resulting in death.
Most Americans catch measles while traveling abroad, but doctors say everyone is at risk.
"You may not be traveling abroad, but if you don't immunize your kids and they come into contact with somebody.. who carries the disease back with them.. they can bring it back and give it to your child."
Beginning symptoms include a fever, runny nose, and cough. Dr. Walker says you can also look for a white-grayish spot on the inside of your mouth that will show up before the rash.
The best prevention is the vaccine.