What is measles?
Measles is a very contagious respiratory tract infection. It causes a total skin rash and flu-like symptoms. 20 million cases occur worldwide every year, with about 50,000 deaths in India due to measles and rubella. Measles (also called rubeola) is caused by a virus, so there is no specific medical treatment for it. The virus must go ahead. A child who is ill must stay at home or on the day of the day to prevent the spread of the infection.
What are the signs and symptoms of measles?
The first symptoms of a measles infection are usually cough, runny nose, high fever and red eyes. Children may also have Koplik spots (small red spots with blue-white centers) in the mouth before the rash begins.
The rash breaks out 3-5 days after the onset of symptoms, sometimes together with high fever to 40 ° C (104 ° F). The red or red brown rash usually starts as flat red spots on the forehead. It spreads to the rest of the face, then along the neck and trunk to the arms, legs and feet. The fever and rash slowly disappear after a few days.
Measles is very contagious. In fact, 9 out of 10 people who have not been vaccinated against measles will get it if they are in the vicinity of an infected person.
How do people get measles?
Measles spread when people inhale or have direct contact with virus-infected fluid. It can let through droplets that are sprayed into the air when someone sneezes or coughs with the measles. Someone who is exposed to the virus may show symptoms only 8-10 days later.
How are measles treated?
There is no specific medical treatment for measles. To control symptoms:
• Give your child a lot of moisture
• Encourage extra rest
• Give paracetamol if fever makes your child uncomfortable. Never give aspirin to a child who has a viral disease, because such use is linked to Reye's syndrome.
Children with measles should be closely monitored by a doctor. In some cases, measles can lead to other complications such as ear infections, croup, diarrhea, pneumonia, encephalitis (irritation and swelling of the brain)
Can measles be prevented?
The best way to protect your children is to ensure that they are immunized against measles by being vaccinated with two doses at 9 months and 15 months.
For most children measles protection is part of mumps-measles-rubella vaccine (MMR) or mumps-measles-rubella-varicella vaccine (MMRV) given at 9 months and 12 to 15 months and again when they are 4 to 6 years old.
It is important for all children who can get the vaccine on time. People with an increased risk (such as people with a weakened immune system) can not receive the vaccine and are dependent on "herd immunity." This is the moment when many people are being immunized against a disease, so that it can not spread and prevent outbreaks.
Most people who received measles were not vaccinated.
Those who are most at risk during an outbreak are:
• Babies who are not old enough to receive the vaccine
• Pregnant woman
• People with poor nutrition or weakened immune systems
If they have contact with someone who has measles, doctors can give an injection of antibodies against measles (called immunoglobulin). It is most effective if it is given within 6 days of contact. These antibodies can prevent the measles or make the symptoms less serious.
The measles vaccine may offer some protection to women who are not pregnant and people who are not part of a risk group, if given within 72 hours of measles exposure.
What is Rubella?
The rubella virus is single stranded RNA virus from the Togaviridae family (genus Rubivirus). Rubella virus infection gives rise to two different clinical entities based on when the virus is acquired. When the virus is obtained postnatally (after birth to adulthood), it produces a mild disease with a characteristic rash.
When acquired during the development of the fetus, it leads to the congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which can be devastating and can cause the death of the fetus (baby in the womb). The association with CRS led in 1970 to the development of an effective vaccine. In countries where effective vaccination strategies for rubella were used, the percentages of natural rubella infection and CRS were reduced. Unfortunately, many areas in the world lack effective vaccination programs against rubella and some people in countries with access to the vaccine choose not to vaccinate. As a result, a substantial proportion of the world's population remains susceptible to rubella virus infection and CRS.
What damage can a Rubella infection cause?
In postnatal infections, 20-50% of the infected individuals are asymptomatic. Younger patients are often asymptomatic until the rash starts, but may have mild coryza and diarrhea. Rubella shows a distinctive pattern of lymphadenopathy that manifests itself by enlarging the post-auricular and suboccipital nodes.
In CRS all organ systems can be involved in the red-dog infected fetus, leading to an impressive range of possible findings at birth. CRS is characterized by the classic triad of cataracts, heart defects and deafness. Findings in infants with CRS include: sensorineural hearing loss, cataract, pigmented retinopathy, glaucoma, congenital heart disease (such as patent ductus arteriosis (PDA), peripheral pulmonary stenosis), microcephaly (small head and brain), meningoencephalitis (brain infection), hepatosplenomegal, thrombocytopenic purpura, large anterior fontanelle, cryptorchidism / inguinal hernia, etc. and even death.
How can a rubella infection be prevented?
The rubella vaccine is a live attenuated virus vaccine. In the United States, three separate rubella vaccines were licensed in 1969. Since 1979, a single vaccine (the RA 27/3 strain) has been licensed in the United States. It is currently available in combination with measles and mumps vaccines (MMR) or with measles, mumps and varicella vaccines (MMRV).
The rubella vaccine is safe and immunogenic. Ninety-five percent or more of the vaccinated individuals of at least 12 months develops serological evidence of immunity after a single dose and the immunity lasts for at least 15 years in more than 90% of the vaccinated. At least one dose of rubella-containing vaccine is recommended for all children aged 9 months or older. A second dose of rubella-containing vaccine is recommended at 15 months to 5 years to produce immunity in those who do not respond to the first dose.
By not vaccinating, one is not only susceptible to the infection, but also remains a potential threat for the transmission of the infection to other people.
Published in public interest by Indain Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Nagaland