Measles is widespread acute infectious disease occurring mainly in children and characterized by fever, catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and throat and the appearance of the skin a spotty rash. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases known to date. For this infection is characterized by almost 100% susceptibility – that is, if people previously without a history of measles and are not vaccinated, will be in contact with measles – risk is extremely high. It is therefore imperative that strict compliance with the terms vaccination and carrying out anti-epidemic measures in the focus of infection.
Causes of measles
The route of transmission is airborne. The virus is released into the environment by droplets of saliva while talking, while coughing, sneezing. Despite the instability of the external environment are known cases of the virus spread with the air flow in the ventilation system of the building. Source of infection – a sick with measles, which is highly contagious to others with the last 2 days of incubation period to 4 days of the rash. From the 5th day of the rash the patient is considered non-contagious. After the disease had recovered remains lifelong immunity. Children born to survivors of measles mothers, remain immune to the disease for up to 3 months, as during this period in their blood remain protective maternal antibodies. Persons without a history of measles and are not vaccinated against it, remain highly susceptible to measles throughout life and can get sick at any age.
Symptoms of measles
The incubation period, i.e. the time from infection to onset of symptoms, lasts from 7 to 14 days. It is important to remember that the disease begins with the appearance of the rash, and cold symptoms: a temperature of 38-40 degrees, severe weakness, loss of appetite, dry cough, runny nose. Later, there is conjunctivitis (inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes). After about 2-4 days after the first symptoms of the disease on the mucous membrane of the cheeks opposite the molar teeth) are small whitish rashes. 3-5 days of illness a rash in the form of bright spots that tend to merge with each other. First, it is found behind the ears and on the forehead, then spreads rapidly below – on the face, neck, body and limbs. Small pink spots rash rapidly increase in size, become irregular in shape, sometimes merge. During the period of maximum precipitation, 2-3 days after the rash appears, the temperature may again rise to 40.5°. The rash lasts for 4-7 days. On the spot stain remain pockets of brown pigmentation after 2 weeks the skin becomes clean.
Complications after measles
Complications are more common in children under five years of age or in adults older than 20 years. The most common are inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media), blindness, pneumonia, inflammation of the cervical lymph nodes, laryngitis, encephalitis. Unfortunately, complications of measles are not so rare, so treatment of the disease should be under medical supervision, the local doctor visits the patient every few days.
Self-treatment of measles
Upon the slightest suspicion of the development of measles should immediately consult a physician. This is important not only for early diagnosis and initiation of treatment, but also for taking anti-epidemic measures in the team, which visited the ill.
Clinical treatment of measles
In typical cases, the diagnosis of measles is not difficult. Local doctor makes a diagnosis on the clinical picture of the disease and prescribes treatment. Sometimes it may require serological methods detection of antibodies to measles virus in serum of the patient).
Treatment of uncomplicated measles is symptomatic, including bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids, antipyretics, remedies for runny nose and sore throat, expectorant drugs, vitamins. In the case of development of complications of measles further treatment is carried out in a hospital.
Reliable and effective method of prevent measles is vaccination. Measles vaccination is, in essence, an artificial virus infection, but is very weak, in which the body produces protective immunity. Some children 6 through day 20 after inoculation may experience mild reactions such as fever, and sometimes the appearance of conjunctivitis and scant rash. These symptoms persist for 2-3 days, after which all passes safely. Do not worry, it is quite possible and not dangerous. But just in case, if you experience any complications after vaccination, always check with the doctor. First vaccination is carried out for children aged 12 months and the second at the age of 6 years. Vaccination against measles may be conducted by nanovaccine or triacting (measles, rubella and mumps). The efficacy of the vaccine against measles is the same regardless of which vaccine is used. Vaccination provides long-lasting protective effect for 15 years. Live vaccines are not administered to pregnant women, patients with tuberculosis, leukemia, lymphoma, and HIV-positive.
The detection of measles conduct preventive measures in the focus of infection – i.e. in the team, where there was a child. Children up to 3 years, pregnant women, tuberculosis patients and persons with a weakened immune system usually administered immunoglobulin (passive immunization) in the first 5 days after contact with the patient. Children over 3 years old without a history of measles in vaccinated previously and who had no clinical contraindications, should be promptly vaccinated. The vaccine may provide a protective effect when used before exposure or within 2 days after exposure to measles. Children who had contact with a sick person, not vaccinated and not had measles, impose quarantine. The first seven days after a single contact to be allowed to attend the children’s group. Then, up to 17 days after exposure, inclusive (and for children with the purpose of prophylaxis has been administered to 21 days) these children are isolated. In the source of infection, carry out daily routine inspection and thermometry of children who were in contact with those who are sick. All detected patients with measles urgently isolate.