Sunday, August 2, 2009

Measles mess, mumps misery, and rubella

Here's information on what the MMR vaccine prevents. Now keep in mind by not vaccinating, these could all occur in your kid.


Symptoms usually begin 8 - 12 days after you are exposed to the virus. This is called the incubation period.

Symptoms may include:

* Bloodshot eyes
* Cough
* Fever
* Light sensitivity (photophobia)
* Muscle pain
* Rash
o Usually appears 3 - 5 days after the first signs of being sick
o May last 4 - 7 days
o Usually starts on the head and spreads to other areas, moving down the body
o Rash may appear as flat, discolored areas (macules) and solid, red, raised areas (papules) that later join together
o Itchy
* Redness and irritation of the eyes (conjunctivitis)
* Runny nose
* Sore throat
* Tiny white spots inside the mouth (Koplik's spots)

Diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death

Approximately 20% of reported measles cases experience one or more complications. These complications are more common among children under 5 years of age and adults over 20 years old.

Measles causes ear infections in nearly one out of every 10 children who get it. As many as one out of 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, and about one child in every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis. (This is an inflammation of the brain that can lead to convulsions, and can leave your child deaf or mentally retarded.) For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage, give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.

*No treatment, but can be prevented by the MMR vaccine


Mumps is an illness caused by the mumps virus. Mumps causes

* Fever
* Headache
* Muscle aches
* Tiredness
* Loss of appetite
* Swelling of the salivary glands

Serious problems are rare, but can include deafness; swelling of the brain, spinal cord, testicles, breasts or ovaries; and pregnancy loss.
*No treatment but can be prevented by MMR vaccine

* Fever
* Headache
* Malaise
* Bruising (rare)
* Inflammation of the eyes (bloodshot eyes)
* Muscle or joint pain
*Patients can take acetaminophen to reduce fever.
No other treatment, but can be prevented by MMR vaccine


Maria@Conversations with Moms said...

That picture just tears at my heart. Poor baby. I vaccinate both my children. My childrens' pediatrician recommends all the major vaccines.

Unknown said...

Excellent awareness post. My kids have all surpassed the age of any of these labels...but I am moving into the arena of Grand parent so this is a very good refresher course for me.
Thanks so much!

Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle said...

I had the mumps on both sides as a kid. Uncomfortable, but no worse than the chicken pox or a bad flu. Of course, mumps can have serious side effects for boys, so that's something to take into consideration.

I just think we need to make these decisions based on the health of each individual child. Some kids' systems can't handle all the vaccines we give nowadays, at least not all at once.

For my son, we did not give any MMR booster because he still showed immunity via a blood test.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Trish. There is no denying the complexity of this issue. I space out my kids' shots. Maria - most parents do vaccinate and most peds recommend all shots. That picture would tear at the heart of any parent - whether they vaccinate or not.

Rachel Steiner said...

Thankss for the post. In 1994 my local council decided to give all the children just the 'MR' vaccine instead of 'MMR'. I don't know whether this was to save money or because supplies ran out. I do know that now, as an adult in my 20s, I have caught mumps and it is horrific. It's meant to be better for babies and children, but I didn't catch it when I was younger. I have been in bed the past 2 weeks and so now I can barely walk. I am extremely weak from throwing up (apparently not a symptom!) and the pain. I also have bloodshot eyes. To top it off, I have an important interview in a few days and my engagement party in a week. Mumps is definitely worth vaccinating against!!

Another issue for the mothers to note: The BCG has now become OPTIONAL in some areas, even though TB is on the rise in London. So your 14 year old may not get routinely vaccinated at school. I reckon that's another one worth getting. There's going to be a whole generation of unvaccinated children who will end up getting it as adults.