Hearing Loss Can Be Caused by Measles

Hearing Loss Can Be Caused by Measles

People refer to measles as though it were a single disease, when in reality there are two very different types of illnesses. The first type is known as rubella, which is commonly referred to as German measles.

Rubella is usually a mild form of measles which lasts for only about three days. However, it has been known to result in birth defects in the infants who are birthed by mothers who had rubella during pregnancy.

On the other hand, rubeola is usually what people are referring to when they talk about measles. This form of the illness is generally more severe and the infection lasts for about a week. Other health conditions that might affect people with rubeola include pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, and even hearing loss.

Both rubella and rubeola are extremely contagious, which is why it is important to vaccinate your child to protect them from it. This is especially important in recent times because there is currently a massive outbreak in measles cases in America. This outbreak has been deemed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the largest epidemic of measles since the year 1996.

People with rubella virus may not suffer as much, but those who are born to people suffering from rubella can face severe health consequences. Babies who were born to mothers who had rubella during their first trimester had the risk of transmitting the illness to their unborn fetus. This transmission could result in serious problems such as the child being born blind, deaf, or with cardiac dysfunction. Such fetuses often had physical and mental developmental malfunctions.

Children born with health problems related to the rubella virus is known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS). During the 1960’s when there was a major rubella outbreak, there were around 20,000 children born with CRS in America.

In certain cases, rubella can result in hearing loss in some adults. If you or your child has not been vaccinated against the rubella and rubeola viruses, it is extremely important to have them vaccinated as soon as possible.