What Causes Swollen Lymph Nodes?

The lymphatic system is the part of the body that circulates lymphatic fluid. The lymph nodes are glands that act as the filtration system for this part of the body. They also store white blood cells, which are an important portion of the immune system that kill invading pathogens. When individuals have a tumor or an infection, the lymph nodes become swollen. When abnormal or diseased cells, bacteria, and viruses pass through the lymphatic system, the lymph nodes stop them from being circulated to other parts of the body. If the body is fighting an illness or infection, the lymph nodes catch debris. There are lymph nodes above the collarbone, on either side of the neck, on either side of the groin, under the jaw, and in the armpits.

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Measles, otherwise known as rubeola, is a highly contagious disease. It can be prevented with vaccines, and keeping up-to-date on vaccinations is vital. Because of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children, there have been some measles outbreaks recently despite the disease previously being virtually eradicated in the United States. Measles occurs in children and can be serious enough to be fatal. Throughout the world, more than 100,000 individuals are killed by measles every year, the majority of whom are under age five. The signs and symptoms of measles tend to appear around ten to fourteen days after someone is exposed to the virus. The most common symptoms are a fever, sore throat, runny nose, dry cough, and inflamed eyes. There's also often a skin rash that consists of large and flat blotches flowing into one another. One characteristic sign of measles is tiny white spots on a red background with bluish-white centers, which are located on the cheek's inner lining or inside of the mouth.

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Katherine MacAulay