How measles could rapidly infect your city

A series of terrifying interactive maps highlight how a measles epidemic could sweep across the US, as the nation struggles with spiraling rates of the life-threatening infection. The maps lay bare how the virus could spread across entire cities if current vaccination rates dropped from 95 percent to 80 percent.

The simulation, developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, projects the infection rate across every major city in the US over a six-month period.

The simulation, developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, projects the infection rate across every major city (Los Angeles County, shown) in the US over a six-month period

WHAT IS MEASLES, WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS AND HOW CAN YOU CATCH IT?

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads easily from an infected person by coughing, sneezing or even just breathing.

Symptoms develop between six and 19 days after infection and include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes, a fever, and a rash.

The rash appears as red and blotchy marks on the hairline that travels down over several days, turning brown and eventually fading. Some children complain of disliking bright lights or develop white spots with red backgrounds on their tongue.

In one in 15 cases, measles can cause life-threatening complications including pneumonia, convulsions, and encephalitis. Treatment focuses on staying hydrated, resting and taking painkillers, if necessary.

Measles can be prevented by receiving two vaccinations, the first at 13 months old and the second at three years and four months to five years old.

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Editorial Staff

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