About the importance of measles vaccination

19.03.2015
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An acquaintance of mine and a personal experience with measles convinced me of the importance of measles vaccination. The WHO recommends 2 doses while an immunization for each child costs 1$.

A personal acquaintance that had measles completely convinced me of the need for vaccination.

I have a very personal relationship with this infection:
When I was a child measles vaccine was administered at the age of 1 year and 16 years.

I got the vaccination aged 1 year... But the group of silly 16-year-old schoolgirls was scared of injections and refused vaccination.

When my son was 1 year he got his measles vaccine. I was 24, I was a medical intern and we conducted all vaccinations. Exactly a month after his vaccinations I became ill with measles. It was as follows: I was in the theater, listening to "La Traviata" and after the spectacle I barely could get home because I was feeling so bad.
The last thing I remember that this night I was trying to take aspirin and dropped the kettle because my hands were shaking. The next 10 days, I do not remember anything.

They said that I was woken up by a fever. I received an injection antipyretic and 15 minutes later I went back to sleep for 2-3 hours until the next temperature rise. Skin rash appeared on me and I had all the symptoms:  Small, flat blotches that blended into one another. My cheeks and forehead were reddened first. Then the rash spread down the arms and trunk, then over the thighs and legs. The rash disappeared in the same order, but pigment spots still remained for a long time - at least a month.

Fortunately, I have not had measles encephalitis. But I did have measles pneumonia. I caught measles from a neighbor who lived on the floor above. My son didn’t fall sick with measles.

Of course, in addition to the rash and fever I had all other measles symptoms – dry cough (very painful), runny nose, sore throat and conjunctivitis. But I do not know if I had Koplik spots - tiny white papules that are on the inner lining of the cheek in the first 1-2 days of the illness.

Commonly, the measles virus incubates without signs for the first 10 to 14 days after a person is infected. Often measles begin like a normal cold and only after 2-3 days the typical rash appears on the skin. Koplik spots often stay unnoticed.

A person with measles spreads the virus for about 8 days – approximately 4 days before the rash appears and 4 days after. Complications of measles may include the following: ear infection, bronchitis, laryngitis, croup, pneumonia, encephalitis, pregnancy problems - pregnancy loss, preterm labor or low birth weight, and thrombocytopenia.

The main risk factor of measles is for unvaccinated persons, especially young children. The measles virus is highly contagious spread by coughing and sneezing.

In order to ensure immunity and prevent outbreaks WHO recommends administrating 2 doses of vaccine.

Immunization against measles for one child costs about US $1.Unfortunately, we have no vaccines since July. The war...

Measles - one of the diseases in which the group’s immunity is particularly important. The presence of a pool of vaccinated immune people prevents the spread of the virus.

Image copyright: Maria Bobrova/thinkstock

Article last time updated on 21.04.2015.

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