There are some diseases that have haunted humanity for a long time. But if there is one thing that moves human beings, it is the search for advances in survival . We can see some examples like the flu and rubella, which were once some of the greatest villains of mankind and today are nothing more than a routine disease thanks to the advances we have had, as well as the case of measles as well.
Fortunately, we have the technology necessary for most of these diseases to be completely controlled or to be harmless to us. Today, measles, which was once a major epidemic in distant times, is considered a very rare disease in most countries in the world, including Brazil.
Elimination of Measles in the Country
Since the 1990s, vaccination campaigns against the disease have been increasingly larger and more efficient until, in 2016, the country received the measles elimination certificate from WHO (World Health Organization) . However, despite being part of the countries that managed to eliminate the disease, this does not mean that it cannot return.
Between the years 2007 and 2011, some outbreaks of the disease occurred in countries in Europe where the disease had not appeared for a long time, mainly because some people end up refusing to get the vaccine. This shows how important it is to be informed about the disease, even if it is not dangerous in your country.
What is Measles? (H3)
Measles is an acute infectious disease that is highly contagious. The virus that causes the disease is called Morbillivirus and it was one of the biggest killers of children in the 20th century.
As the disease affects people much more and much more intensely in their first year of life , it is at this age that the child should be vaccinated . In Brazil, the vaccine is mandatory and free, and can be taken at any public health clinic or also in private clinics.
There are no specific causes for measles, since it is a virus that circulates and is transmitted from person to person or through the air. People usually acquire the virus due to the lack of the vaccine, which ends up proliferating in the environment they live in.
How does measles transmission occur?
Measles is transmitted from one person to another through any type of secretion such as coughing, sneezing or droplets of saliva. But in addition, the disease can also be passed through viral droplets that remain in the air , making it almost impossible not to be contaminated if a person is in the same environment as another contaminated. Because it is a highly contagious disease, measles has been a difficult disease to control for many years.
Main Symptoms of Measles
When a person is infected with measles, several different symptoms appear, at different levels for each particular case. The main symptoms are:
- Red spots on the skin
- High fever
- Running nose
- Persistent cough
- Loss of Appetite
Although some of the symptoms are very characteristic of measles, a diagnosis is only possible through medical examinations . These tests can also reveal the severity of the disease and the best treatment for each case.
Consequences of Measles
If the disease is not properly treated, it can cause several types of problems such as:
- Ear infection
- Affect the respiratory system causing diseases such as pneumonia
- Brain injury that can lead to death
The groups that are most at risk when infected by the virus are newborn babies and pregnant women , as these have the weakest immune system. Deaths due to measles are very rare in Brazil, but in African countries, the disease has a high level of mortality.
People infected with measles need to decrease the symptoms of the disease so that it gradually disappears. For that to happen, there are some recommendations like:
- Healthy eating
- Dipyrone, to relieve fever
- Vitamin supplements
- Clean the Eyes with Gauze
When the treatment is well done, a person can heal between 10 and 15 days after starting treatment. A doctor can also recommend the use of antibiotics to prevent or relieve bacterial infections.
Measles is a disease that has a good cure rate , but there are still groups with a higher risk of complications such as malnourished children and pregnant women.
Is there Measles Prevention?
Despite being a disease that has a good cure, the best thing to do is to prevent yourself from having to go through any type of problem related to this virus. Of course, the most effective way to prevent measles is by getting the vaccine when you are a baby , so you are totally free of the disease.
The vaccine is given in two doses, since about 15% of vaccinated children have flaws in the first dose. Another option is to take a triple viral vaccine or a viral tetra, which also prevent measles.
Diseases like measles are no longer a big danger for us today, but that does not mean that we should not worry, as it is the lack of attention that can end up making this virus a problem for humanity again.
For this reason, it is necessary to keep our children vaccinated and free from any complications caused by measles. As already said, it is often necessary to understand and know the disease so that we understand the importance of preventing it.
See also: What are the symptoms of mumps?
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.