Things That Matter

After Years Of Hearing Dangerous Falsehoods From Anti-Vaxxers, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Measles

Here’s a fun fact: measles are so contagious that if one person has it, then 90% of nearby people who aren’t immune to it will become infected. Yikes. This is why it’s important to stay up to date with your vaccinations. Considering that the recent rise in measles cases has been linked to people failing to vaccinate, we figured we’d put together a list of facts and photos for those of you who have a morbid curiosity about the measles. 

*Just a warning, though – if you’re as squeamish as we are, you might find these photos graphic.*

1. Once you’re infected with the measles, there’s no cure.

Instagram / @maricel68

Okay, we had to start with the most dramatic fact. Basically, the only way to heal is to let the disease run its course. However, the symptoms can be managed. But, that doesn’t mean that once infected, you’re not contagious – and, of course,  getting the measles can make for one hell of an awful experience.

2. It can take almost two weeks for the disease to develop after being exposed.

Instagram / @staytunednbc

Generally speaking, symptoms appear between 10 to 12 days after being exposed to the virus. So you could think you’re in the clear after being in contact with someone who has the measles, but really, the sneaky sickness is just biding its time. 

3. The measles usually has four initial symptoms.

Instagram / @drlinda.m.d

These initial symptoms include a fever, a cough, a running nose, and inflamed eyes. The infamous measles rash usually starts to appear on the head a few days later, and from there, it spreads.

4. Most of the world’s measles outbreaks are located in Africa.

Instagram / @sfbex

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the most measles cases have been found in Africa, in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Madagascar, and Sudan. That being said, other countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Ukraine have also been pretty badly affected, too.

5. The measles vaccine has been in use since the 1960s.

Instagram / @vintagetribune

And the vaccine can be given either as a single immunization, or as a combined dose in a measles-rubella (MR), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine. That’s right: you can get a two-for-one deal like you do at your favorite restaurant! Or four-in-one – if you’re like us and hate having needles stuck in your arm.

6. 7 million people were affected by measles in 2016.

Instagram / @pharmacydaily

Which is wild, considering that global measles deaths actually decreased by over 84 percent between 2000 and 2016.

7. Most deaths from measles happen due to economic and healthcare barriers.

Instagram / @johnshopkinsccp

The fact that anyone’s dying from measles in this day and age is a travesty. But, kids and babies don’t have strong enough immune systems to fight off the disease, and so it’s more common for them to eventually succumb to it. This happens even more so in countries with low per capita incomes and weak healthcare systems.

8. Contracting measles can result in some pretty messed-up complications.

Instagram / @mariwalladermatology

These complications can include blindness; an infection called encephalitis, which causes brain swelling; severe diarrhea and dehydration; and respiratory infections, like pneumonia. These kinds of complications can result in lifelong disabilities and brain damage. Bueno.

9. Measles can be transmitted by fluid from the nose, mouth or throat from infected people.

Instagram / @katehewsonevans

Since it’s an airborne disease, it means that measles can easily be transmitted through coughing sneezing. This is why it’s very important for people who have contracted measles to wear a face mask since that’ll prevent the disease from spreading!

10. The measles goes by a total of five different names.

Instagram / @endtimeheadline

Beyond just the standard “measles” title, it is sometimes called morbilli, rubeola, red measles, and English measles.

11. The measles caused 110,000 deaths in 2017.

Instagram / @mohamed.newsman

Even worse, complications happen in up to a quarter of cases for the measles – and these complications don’t discriminate between low- and high-income countries. 

12. Measles is almost entirely preventable.

Instagram / @lou_volunteer

So even though there’s no cure, two doses of the measles immunization are the best way to protect against the disease – especially since those who don’t have a strong enough immune system to be vaccinated are protected by people who do get the vaccine. However, WHO estimates that at this point, only 85 percent of the population has been vaccinated against it … with only the first dose. For outbreaks to be prevented, 95 percent of the global population needs to get both doses of the vaccine.

13. Cases of the disease have risen by 300 percent worldwide. 

Instagram / @saintjameshealth

This. Is. Wild. 28,124 measles cases were recorded last year … and that’s only the ones that were reported. The Americas have seen an increase in cases by about 60 percent.

14. The first recorded instance of the measles was sometime around the 9th century.

Instagram / @littlelotuspediatrics

A Persian physician, Rhazes, published a book called The Book of Smallpox and Measles.

15. 21 strains of the measles virus have been discovered.

Instagram / @medpage

This basically means that the measles has got 21 different forms that it can take to attack the body.

16. The disease can be seen as a test of sufficient vaccination levels within a population.

Instagram / @lovewhatmatters

This is because measles outbreaks can easily occur in populations that are under-vaccinated. FYI, guys: if a community is affected by a measles outbreak, then it leaves the population at an increased risk for mortality from other diseases for up to two to three years afterward.

17. Measles as an endemic disease was eliminated from the US in 2000.

Instagram / @afshineemrani

The reason why it hasn’t been completely eradicated is that carriers of the disease have traveled into the US, bringing the disease with them. Unvaccinated people then contract measles, making it spread.

18. In 1531, a measles outbreak caused the deaths of half of the population of Honduras.

Instagram / @the_neo_life

Two years beforehand, an outbreak killed two-thirds of natives who had previously survived smallpox. Measles is brutal stuff.

19. As of 2018, measles is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in the world.

Instagram / @vaccines_cause_adults2010

It’s also the leading cause of vaccine-preventable childhood mortalities. Really, guys, prevention is key to fighting this disease.

20. Mothers who have immunity to measles pass on their antibodies to children in the womb.

Instagram / @mentormedicine

Typically, the mothers have to have had contracted the disease to pass on these antibodies. But before you think that this is a good reason to contract measles … these antibodies only kinda-sorta protect newborns from the measles. And, usually, they’re lost within the first nine months of life anyway.

So the moral of the story is: take this article as a reminder to stay up to date with your vaccinations! Was there anything that surprised you about the measles, or are you a hypochondriac who already knows all about it? Tell us about it on our Facebook page – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This TikTok Hack Shows A Pretty Cool Way To Grow Your Own Avocados At Home

Fierce

This TikTok Hack Shows A Pretty Cool Way To Grow Your Own Avocados At Home

@BradCanning/ TikTok

As the pandemic continues to carry us into the infinite unknown the only thing that we can be certain of is that keeping ourselves entertained, busy, and happy is essential. Of course, any plant lover knows that one of the most simple pleasures in life is having some homegrown vegetables in the kitchen. If you’re quarantining and doing all that you can to avoid public spaces like grocery stores this truth goes double.

Recently, a TikTok user uploaded a quick tutorial on how to make your very own avocado plant using supplies you probably have around the house as well as that avocado seed you most definitely toss out way too often. We broke down the steps for you below and they’re pretty easy!

Check them out below.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • Avocado seed
  • Water 
  • Paper towels
  • Ziploc bags
  • A vase or glass

1. Once you’ve cut the avocado hold on to the seed

@BradCanning/ TikTok

As TikTok user @BradCanning points out save the seed! As you’re preparing your avocado for a feast, be sure to avoid cutting into the seed.

2. Remove the outer layer of the seed by peeling it off

@BradCanning/ TikTok

Run the seed underwater then dry it. Once it’s dried up, peel off the skin with your fingers to make sure the seed doesn’t go moldy.

3. Allow the seed to sprout and grow a root by wrapping it in a paper towel and putting it in a Ziplock bag

@BradCanning/ TikTok

After the seed has been in the bag for two to three weeks, it’s time to pull it out and crack it open.

4. Fill a jar with water and suspend the seed

@BradCanning/ TikTok

According to Canning’s TikTok “Put the root in water and it will start to sprout … be careful though, this is a total addiction.”

Make sure to place only the roots or half of the seed in water. To do this, Canning used a vase with an opening that fits around the diameter of the seed. Note: others often insert wooden pegs into the seed to suspend it above the water. The root will slowly grow into the water below which means you’ve got a healthy growing plant on your hands.

5. Once the plant gets to a good size pot it in soil.

@BradCanning/ TikTok

Once the plant gets to a good size you can pot it in soil or in a bigger vase to ensure that it keeps growing. According to SF Gate, “After that, the plant takes 10 to 15 years to grow large enough to fruit, which it only does in suitable growing conditions. In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, it’s safe to grow avocado plants outside. In colder zones, they make attractive houseplants but are unlikely to bear fruit.”

For the full video check it out here.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Remember The Day You Got Your Period For The First Time?

Fierce

Remember The Day You Got Your Period For The First Time?

Chris Hondros / Getty

No matter how old you are, you’ll always remember what it was like to get your first period. Of course, we all have different experiences with them. For some, our first periods were kind of a bit traumatizing. For others, it was was one of the most empowering moments of our lives.

To celebrate our first periods, we asked FIERCE Latinas to share their experiences and the stories were both sweet and hilarious.

Check out some of the stories below!

This gift from god period.

“I got mine on Christmas when I was 12, and my aunt was like “it’s a gift from God!” – 444nates

This one that sparked tears.

“I was 11 and it was Valentine’s Day in sixth grade. I was wearing black pants but I was so scared to tell anyone so when I got home I tried to cover it up like nothing happened. The next morning when I woke up for school my sister was the one who noticed because there was blood on my shorts. She called my mom and my mom came home from work and cried because “I was a woman now” so then I started crying cause I was scared 😂 my mom let me stay home from school for the week and my dad told her she should stay with me so I’m comfortable.” – lichensnfronds

This one that came to church.

“I got mine during morning Sunday mass. I felt wet and I went to bathroom and when I looked down I was like, “oh god it’s happening awww man. I shouldn’t have made fun of yesenia for getting her’s last week.” – angiemhrndz

What is it with periods on holy days, seriously?

“Easter Sunday. 10 years old almost 11, I freaked out in the bathroom of the church.” – dearmelrose

This one that gives Remember the Alamo a different sentiment.

“It was Summertime and our parents always had different activities planned for us. This particular day, we were visiting The Alamo. I was 10 and right before leaving I made that last minute bathroom trip when I realized I got my period. I called my mom and she immediately gave me a pep talk & the stuff I needed, I already knew about it but was surprised. I was like “We’re STILL going to The Alamo?!” Needless to say “Remember The Alamo” has an entirely different meaning for me!!” – tish1972

This one that took some time to share with her mom.

“I was 16 when I got my period… and I was scared didn’t told my mom until late that day. I was using two chones meanwhile.” – tatiana.r92

And this one that came at a really bad time.

“I got mine on Father’s Day with my brother and dad at the movie theaters I went to the bathroom and didn’t know what to do because I had nothing with me and my dad knocked on the door and told me to hurry up and what was taking so long so I put a lot of paper and waited till I got home.” – _jessica_silva17

This one that traumatized.

“11 at home, I think!? I had an older sister and classes were they gave us free pads and educated us on the subject. Still traumatizing lol.” – k.cuzco

This one that came a bit early and at a hard time.

“I was a little over a month shy of 10 years old. My mom was in prison and I was living with my dad and his new wife. (Who 20+ years later is still not a mom to her own children so she def wasn’t tryin to be mine) My friend had stayed the night and we were just waking up. I was crying in the bathroom so she got my dad, who got his wife, who said “it’s okay, you’re fine. ” Then handed me a pad she received from the hospital after giving birth to my brother a week or so prior. When my mom called that day she started crying and apologizing for not being there for me.
I swore to my girls I’d be there for them always. When my almost 12 year old called me a few Saturday mornings ago from her dad’s house and let me know she had gotten hers, I jumped outta bed and went straight to her.
I can’t do anything about the way I grew up, I can only make sure my daughters have a better go of it.” – xicana_402

This one that made her think she was dying.

“11 and the bus ride home from school. I thought I was dying.” – reinders.v

“Started one morning that I had basketball practice before school in 8th grade. Mom couldn’t drive me so I had to walk myself to school, got in trouble for being late, and I remember wanting to cry cause I was both shook and pissed off for being punished by mother nature AND my coach.” – cynthia_a7

When a baby came the same day as her period.

“My mom had just given birth to my brother (I was 10) and I was at the hospital. My grandma ran out and said,”it happened! A baby and a period in the same day!” – ashleylynne92

This one that came with a super sweet gift.

“I was 9 & at the apple store bc my uncle was kind enough to buy me an ipod and i geniuenly thought i had peed myself or something and i told my mom but she got confused and told me to hold it till we got home. then i went to the bathroom when i got home and panicked so i told my mom and she had to just do a mini explanation.” – crystalramirezx

This one that ruined a pair of super cute shorts.

“12 was ecstatic to wear my new all white glitter shorts. Summer vacation, I step out my room feeling my myself passed my dad he nearly fainted (didn’t say a word) went to my mom a floor down and I was about to sit in the white sofas we had before I twirled for my mom to show her my outfit when she stopped gasped and told me to shower. The rest I don’t remember what happened, I do know we threw my shirts away. Wore them for maybe 30 mins.” – gu.pita

This one that was poorly timed because of an RBD announcement

‘Back when RBD announced they were splitting up 🥺 worst week ever tbh.” – josiiiee__

This super sad story that ended with being bullied.

“oh boy do i remember. So I was in private school with 75 students. And out of all the students I was the last one to get it. I was 14 years old everyone in my school was considered a woman and I was always made fun of because I was still a child (their words not mine) so the day I got mine somehow Everyone in my school found out. And some asshole’s decided to put condoms in my backpack I didn’t know they put him there so when I went to open my backpack day fell out and I was sent to the principals office and I had to explain to her that I was being bullied because I was the last one to get my. At that school. middle school dont ever want to do that again.” – memylerena

And this story that proves no shorts are safe when it comes to first periods!

“I was about 11 years old. I was playing outside with my primas and I remember feeling my biker shorts (it’s was the 90’s lol) get wet. I ran to the bathroom and I was bleeding. I called for my mom and my prima @d_quiin came to the bathroom and explained to me what I should do. I remember her telling me, not to eat lemon and other things meanwhile on it. Lol!” – esperanza_and_friends

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com