The first step to an effective emergency plan in regards to public health is education. Communicable diseases can affect the general health of the populace. Please take the time to educate yourself about these diseases deemed most preventable and those diseases in our community that could easily reach emergent and epidemic levels if not kept in check.
Any individual suspected of having measles (generalized rash lasting greater than or equal to three days, temperature >101o Fahrenheit, and cough or runny nose or red eyes) or any fever in a person who has been recently exposed to measles, should go home and stay home until measles can be excluded from the diagnosis. This and other control activities should not be delayed. Call your doctor, do not go to the clinic or emergency room, because the virus can stay in the air for as long as 3 hours. Persons with measles are contagious from one to two days prior to onset of symptoms (about four days before rash onset) to four days after the appearance of the rash. The incubation period is 7 to 18 days, and averages 10 days to onset of fever and 14 days to the onset of rash.To prevent measles, children (and some adults) should be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Children should be given the first dose of MMR vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age. The second dose can be given four weeks later, but is usually given before the start of kindergarten at 4 to 6 years of age.
Swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw on one or both sides of the face (parotitis)
Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. Items used by an infected person, such as cups or soft drink cans, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared. In addition, the virus may spread when someone with mumps touches items or surfaces without washing their hands and someone else then touches the same surface and rubs their mouth or nose.
Most mumps transmission likely occurs before the salivary glands begin to swell and within the 5 days after the swelling begins. Therefore, CDC recommends isolating mumps patients for 5 days after their glands begin to swell.
If you have mumps, there are several things you can do to help prevent spreading the virus to others:
Minimize close contact with other people, especially babies and people with weakened immune systems who cannot be vaccinated.
Stay home from work or school for 5 days after your glands begin to swell, and try not to have close contact with other people who live in your house.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
Wash hands well and often with soap, and teach children to wash their hands too.
Don’t share drinks or eating utensils.
Regularly clean surfaces that are frequently touched (such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters) with soap and water or with cleaning wipes.
Pertusssis (Whooping cough) is verycontagious and can cause serious illness - especially in infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated. Make sure your infants and young children get their recommended five shots on time. Adolescent and adult vaccination is also important, especailly for families with new infants.