Measles Updates: Measles (Measles Latest Updates) is an infectious disease. Measles is spread by contact with an infected person or by handling infected objects. There are no specific treatments or antiviral drugs available for measles, vitamin A supplementation is helpful in boosting immunity during the illness. Currently there is an increasing incidence of measles in the state. Parents have many questions related to this disease. All these questions are answered by Dr. Pediatric Infectious Disease Consultant at Apollo Hospital in Navi Mumbai. Given by Dhanya Dharmapalan.
What is measles?
Measles is a contagious viral disease, causing significant mortality and morbidity. Measles is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes in airborne droplets (fine particles in the air).
Measles symptoms and causes?
Most often in the early stage i.e. 4-5 days before the measles rash appears. Within 7 to 14 days of exposure to measles, the virus replicates throughout the body and causes red eyes and a runny nose without fever, cough, or discharge. Sometimes vomiting or diarrhea may occur. On the inside of the cheek, especially in front of the lower molars, there is a characteristic pattern of 1 mm white spots called Koplik’s spots. The rash disappears after 72 hours. The red spots of measles rash first appear on the face and then spread down the torso, arms and legs within 3 days. After 3 days the rash disappears and brown or red spots appear. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in measles, and the disease can also result from secondary microbial infections. Those who are malnourished and have weakened immune systems can suffer from severe measles.
Diagnosis is made when measles-specific IgM antibodies are detected in the blood in the laboratory (detected about 2 days after the rash appears). Pathogens can also be detected by PCR from throat swabs and urine samples.
Is vaccination important to prevent measles?
Measles can be properly prevented. Measles vaccine is available under the routine immunization program in combination with rubella (German measles) as measles-rubella (MR) vaccine (given at 9 and 16 months). The Indian Academy of Paediatrics recommends the MMR vaccine, which also includes the mumps vaccine at 9 months, 15 months and 5 years. Two doses are very effective in preventing measles. If a child is not vaccinated at the specified age, vaccination should be done as soon as possible to avoid complications.
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