Mary has been sick for the last three or four days. This morning, she woke up with a rash. I used a handy reference book I have with a flow chart, and I concluded, based on the questions answered as best as I could, that she has measles.
Now she's not even 9 months old, and children are not routinely immunized for measles until one year, so she does not have that protection.
Online, I researched measles and found this site with a drawing of a child with measles. Her rash is no where near that dark, but it does have that same mottled look.
Measles, though, is not something that spontaneously springs from your body. You have to get it somewhere. Since it is spread through coughing and sneezing, I know that I could have picked up virus droplets in any public place and transferred them to her. She could have picked them up in a grocery cart or while banging her hands on the church pew.
Looking at measles cases in the U.S. brought me to this article from last month which states that there have been 72 cases of measles so far this year (and this article shows that one person in Fairfax, VA, which is in my general vicinity, brought measles over from India).
There is one comment on the News-Medical article:
I would rather my autistic son had died of measles than live the shadow of a life that he is destined for with his condition. Autism robbed him of his soul.
This is so sad. I cannot imagine the difficulties of raising an autistic child, especially one who seemed normal and suddenly had problems. I also cannot imagine the emptiness of losing a child. I do not think the grass is green on either side of this fence.
I don't really think that Mary has measles. The virus that has given her a fever for several days now was given to her by her siblings, two of whom have not been immunized for measles and neither of whom broke out in any rash. Besides that, she just hasn't seemed very sick. Sick, but not measly.
I'll keep an eye on her, and I'll pray that she gets better soon. And I'll pray for the autistic son and his parents, that they find healing: if not physical, then emotional.