Dr Oz: Return of 3 Deadly Diseases
Measles, Whooping Cough, and a Polio-like disease are surprising health officials, Dr Oz said. Doctors don’t necessarily recognize these conditions. Here is what you need to know about how they have returned and what you can do to keep your family healthy.
Dr Oz: Am I At Risk for Measles?
Measles has been mostly eradicated in the US for the past two decades. But in just eight weeks, there have been 84 new cases in 11 states. It’s bigger than the CDC ever expected it would be again.
Dr Oz said that Measles can spread very easily from person to person. He pointed out to the audience that it could rapidly spread in a group, like if someone among them happened to be carrying a virus such as Measles.
“90% of people who come in contact with someone who has Measles get the disease,” Dr Oz said. He shared an alert he received at his hospital warning staff that they could have been exposed at work.
Dr Oz: What Does Measles Look Like?
Were you properly vaccinated for Measles? Do you know whether your inoculation has worn off? For adults, it can be hard to remember when you got shots and whether you got the booster when you were supposed to.
Doctors may not even know what Measles looks like. Dr Oz said he and his colleagues have not seen many cases through the years, because it was controlled for so long. About 10 days after exposure, you could have a runny nose, high fever, and white spots inside the mouth. A rash behind the ears will travel down the body, leaving a trail of large, blotchy spots.
Dr Oz: What Causes Measles Outbreak?
Dr Oz said that by the time you have Measles, you cannot treat the disease itself but just the complications. Pediatrician Dr Lisa Thornton told Dr Oz that unimmunized people traveling could be bringing the disease back from abroad.
Unimmunized or under-immunized people could be bringing back the disease from countries where it is less under control. About 1/3 of patients have to be hospitalized from complications such as Pneumonia, Meningitis, permanent brain damage, deafness, or death.
If you were born before 1957, you have probably been exposed. But people born after that could be immunized at any time. Most of the time, you won’t outgrow your immunity, but a second dose is recommended as a follow-up.
Dr Oz: Whooping Cough Vaccination
Almost 50,000 new cases of Whooping Cough are often occurring in adults. Dr Oz said that in this case, the vaccine’s effects are not permanent. Dr Thornton said a previous version of the vaccine was more potent but had side effects. The current formulation may be less effective.
Dr Oz said that even he has been diagnosed with Whooping Cough in the recent past. Many of these new cases are occurring in adults. Dr Thornton said that you should get in the habit of having a Pertussis vaccine for Whooping Cough when you have a regular Tetanus vaccination.
He agreed that it’s worth getting another Pertussis booster, especially if you are age 65 or older.
Dr Oz: Polio-Like Paralysis in Children
Polio was a feared and dangerous disease. But a vaccination changed life and health in the US for generations. Dr Oz said that now a new, seemingly similar disease is popping up in California, immobilizing children.
Most doctors have never encountered this disease or Polio. Dr Thornton said that cases of this Polio-like syndrome are believed to be caused by a virus. Patients get a cold and experience sudden, possibly permanent paralysis a few days later.
Research is ongoing so medical professionals can figure out a treatment. Dr Thornton and Dr Oz agreed that immunization against diseases is a great preventative protection to prevent the spread of avoidable diseases.