Infectious diseases


Measles — a widespread acute contagious disease, occurring mainly in children. Symptoms of measles are characterized by fever, catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and throat and the appearance of the skin spots rash. Measles in children especially severe if the child is exhausted and weakened. In developing countries it is still frequent cause of infant mortality is still measles. Photo of the rash can be confused with other diseases that have similar manifestations.

Symptoms of measles caused by RNA-containing virus of the paramyxovirus family (Paramyxoviridae), which also includes the viruses of infectious parotitis (mumps), rabies dogs and rinderpest. With two recent measles virus has many common characteristics (similarity of the structure of the virion and characteristics of the structure and replication of the genome); it is assumed that it is derived from the distemper virus of dogs.

Among known infectious diseases measles one of most contagious. It is estimated that by the 21st year of life 95% of the urban population of the world suffered such a disease, like measles. The symptoms occur shortly after infection. Transmission of the virus occurs along with microdroplets of mucus from the nose, larynx and the oral cavity of the patient, receiveaudio when coughing, sneezing, and talking. Airborne method of transmission measles is the main, however, the infection can occur by inhalation of infected dust. Measles is extremely contagious: the susceptibility to it is close to 100%.

After the disease had recovered persists lifelong immunity; the cases of repeated illness is extremely rare. Most of the “re” cases, because the symptoms of measles were accepted manifestations of the rubella virus. Measles in adults can occur if the person had not previously suffered. Children born to survivors of measles mothers remain immune (immune to disease) to 4 or even 6 months, because during this period in their blood remain protective maternal antibodies. Seasonal peak incidence occurs in late winter. While remains not clear, why in some cities, the incidence rises every second or third winter. Outbreaks most often occur in children’s collectives (kindergartens, elementary school). Measles in children is a common disease.

Symptoms of measles

The first symptoms of measles occur after 7-14 days after infection. First, there is an increase of temperature; after about 12 hours marked redness and irritation of the mucous membranes of the eyes; photophobia develops. The patient can infect people who have previously not had German measles. Symptoms associated with catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract (runny nose, harsh cough) appear at the end of the first day.

Symptoms and causes of measlesAfter about 2-4 days after the first symptoms of the disease on the buccal mucosa (opposite the molars) appear small, with poppy seed, whitish rash (Koplik spots). After 1-2 days (3-5th day of illness) suddenly there is a rash that accompanies the measles. The symptoms are that at first she found behind the ears and on the forehead, then rapidly spread below — to the face, neck, body and limbs. Small pink spots rash rapidly increase in size, become irregular in shape, sometimes merge.

In the period of maximum precipitation, 2-3 days after the rash appears, the temperature may rise to 40.5°. The rash lasts 4-7 days, then fades in the same order as it appeared. This means that it takes measles. Photo shows that on a rash remain brownish areas of pigmentation that lasts 7-10 days. The patient is most contagious from the 11th to 16th day after infection, i.e. from the first day increase the temperature up to 4-5 days of skin rash.

Complications of measles

Mortality for uncomplicated low, however complications are common and can be severe. By frequency, they are arranged in the following order:

  • inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media);
  • mastoiditis (inflammation of mastoid process of temporal bone)
  • bronchopneumonia
  • inflammation of cervical lymph nodes
  • laryngitis
  • encephalitis.

Treatment of measles

There is no specific treatment, therefore, symptomatic therapy is carried out. The patient should be isolated from others (especially from children); recommended bed rest and liquid food. Darken the room optional. To prevent secondary bacterial infections antibiotics are prescribed.

Prevention of measles

Research to develop measles vaccine began in 1954, when the measles virus (strain Edmonston) for the first time succeeded in growing in tissue culture. From the strain J. Enders has prepared the first oral polio vaccine. Held in 1961 tests confirmed its effectiveness. In 1963 the United States Department of health was allowed to produce two types of measles vaccines: live attenuated (weakened virus) and inactivated (“killed”). The use of inactivated, creating short-lived immunity, vaccine not justified; since 1968 the vaccination in the U.S. it was conducted. Good results are obtained by passive immunization (introduction of specific gamma globulin): antibodies completely inhibit the infection or alleviate the disease. Therefore, immune serum globulin should be administered as soon as possible after contact with the patient (i.e. immediately after the possible infection). Contrary to predictions, promised quick victory over the disease as a result of mass immunization, statistics show an increase in morbidity in the world.

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