Diseases are spreading throughout the world like never before. Infections and viruses have become a part of our life it seems. But do you know that there is another disease that spreads through droplets? Yes, there is, measles is another disease that spreads through direct contact or droplets. It is a significant disease that can be very deadly if not taken care of. We at OnlyMyHealth aim to spread awareness about measles. To start with, what is measles? Measles is an infectious illness which is caused by the Rubeola virus. As mentioned above, it spreads through coming in direct contact with the person infected by the virus or through droplets. It is a contagious disease that causes a threat to your life. However, fortunately, we have a vaccine for this. Still, precautions need to be taken.
How do I know if I have symptoms of measles?
It is a viral disease that makes you quite uncomfortable and has life-threatening complications. To look in detail at the common symptoms, we talked to Dr KK. Aggarwal, MBBS, MD, a well-known senior physician in BHEL, Haridwar, to share the common symptoms faced by people having measles. He told that common symptoms of measles are high fever, cough, running nose, watery eyes, and frequent sneezes. These symptoms arise within 7-14 days after exposure to the virus or may even take a bit more. If there are any of these symptoms, it’s better to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
When to consult a doctor?
A person should consult a doctor if-
- He has symptoms that could indicate measles.
- The fever rises over 100.4 degrees F
- There is chest pain or problem while breathing.
- There are signs of confusion or drowsiness in your body.
- Blood comes while coughing
- They experience uncontrolled muscle spasms along with altered consciousness.
How to prevent Measles?
There is a major possible way to prevent measles that is the vaccine of measles. Unfortunately, there is no such preventive measure that can be taken to avoid measles. However, if you know a person has symptoms of having measles, then stay away from him, avoid any personal touch and inform a doctor about it.
Other preventive measures:
If you are susceptible to measles infection-
- Keep good hand hygiene. Wash your hands an ample number of times before eating, going to the bathroom, and before touching your face, mouth, etc.
- Do not share any personal belongings with anyone who is ill.
- Avoid coming in contact with a person who is sick.
If you are sick with measles-
- Stay home for four days after you first develop the measles rash.
- Wash your hands, and disinfect the surroundings.
- Cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze. Don’t sneeze in your hand. Try to have a tissue or into the crook of your elbow.
Also Read: Natural Remedies to Treat Measles
Complications that can arise due to measles
- If proper precautions are not taken against measles, it can lead to complications based on your previous history.
- It can affect vision loss.
- Encephalitis, an infection that causes brain swelling
- Severe diarrhoea and dehydration
- Additional infections: Pneumonia and some other respiratory infections can also arise.
During pregnancy, measles can be a very deadly disease leading to-.
- Loss of pregnancy
- Early delivery of the baby
- Low birth weight
Those who have a weekend immune system are very young, around 20 years of age and children are at a higher risk of catching measles. So it is better to take precautions.
Also Read: Home Remedies To Treat Chickenpox Scars
Types of Vaccines available for Measles
There are two categories into which the vaccines are divided-
- Monovalent Vaccine: This is a very commonly used magazine which is for a singular purpose. Many lives have been saved by this magazine. Monovalent Vaccine contains non-Edmonston derived strains are also included in the use of another biochemical as well.
- Compound Vaccine: This type of vaccine is basically made up of two or more infections that can spread in our body. Measles happens through the rubella virus, and thus, there are compound vaccines available that protect you from both the virus causing infections. TRESIVAC is a compound vaccine available for Measles, Mumps and Rubella in India.
- Vaccine for Measles-MMR vaccination: The vaccine helps to protect against measles, mumps and rubella. Children are at a higher risk of getting measles; hence children should be given two doses of vaccination, starting with the first dose at when the child is 12-15 months and the second when the child is about six years of age. This vaccine also helps children protect against chickenpox (varicella). MMR Vaccine is only licensed for use in children who are 12 months through 12 years of age.
Students at post-high school educational institutions may also take the vaccine considering that they do not have presumptive evidence of immunity in their body. In that case, both the doses for the MMR vaccine can be taken within the last 28 days gap.
Women of childbearing age
- Women who are pregnant or at childbearing age should check with their doctor to make sure that they are not vaccinated at the time of pregnancy. The vaccination should only happen before pregnancy. Breastfeeding does not interfere with the MMR vaccine response, and the baby will not be affected by the vaccine through breast milk.
- During a mumps outbreak, public health authorities might recommend an additional dose of MMR vaccine for those at a higher risk. However, if you have already taken two doses of the vaccine, it is not compulsory to take the third dose until you fall in the above-mentioned category.
Who should not get vaccinated for MMR Vaccination?
- A person who has had any severe, life-threatening allergies
- Has a weekend immune system due to diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, or any medical condition which involves Radiation, immunotherapy, steroids or chemotherapy.
- A person whose parent, brother or sister has a history of immune system problems
- Anyone who has had a blood transfusion or received other blood products is advised to postpone MMR vaccination for three months or more.
- If that person has had tuberculosis
- Has gotten any other vaccine in the past four weeks
- If a person is not feeling well. A mild illness, such as a cold, is usually not a reason, but a moderately or severely ill person should probably wait for a doctor’s advice.
How well does an MMR vaccine work?
One dose of MMR vaccine is almost 93% effective against measles, 78% against mumps and 97% effective against Rubella virus. Two doses of MMR vaccine are effective against 97% Measles and 88% against Mumps. MMR is a weekend live virus vaccine. This means that after injection, the virus causes a harmless infection in the vaccinated person with a few or negligible symptoms before getting eliminated from the body. The person’s immune system fights the infection caused by these weakened viruses, and immunity develops.
Measles is one of the deadly diseases which can occur to the majority of people. It can spread through coming in direct contact with the person or with the help of droplets present in the environment. There is no as such remedy to help you from this virus other than vaccination. MMR vaccination is available in India and most part of the world which protects you from Measles, Mumps and Rubella virus. Two doses of vaccination should be taken for protection. Before taking vaccination, consult a doctor regarding any prior infection or problem which in terms you would have to delay your vaccination.
(Written by Puru Bansal, Sub Editor, Onlymyhealth)
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