MEASLES isn’t just a nasty disease – it can actually be deadly for children.
It’s important to get your kids vaccinated to try and prevent them from making this mistake.
What is measles?
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can be prevented with the MMR vaccine.
The virus can be expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These substances can then be inhaled by someone exposed to the droplets, which can remain in the air or settle on surfaces.
Spending just 15 minutes with someone who has measles can spread the disease.
Because of the availability of injectable drugs, cases are now relatively rare. But cases can spike quickly if an outbreak occurs.
In January 2022, parents were urged to get their children vaccinated – with the risk of them catching the deadly disease on the rise.
While the infection usually clears up in less than two weeks, it can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications.
Although measles can affect people of all ages, and we’ve seen outbreaks among college students in recent years, it’s most common in young children.
Measles cases have increased in the UK in recent years.
Health leaders have warned the super-contagious virus could flare up again, with most parents not realizing it could pose a danger to children.
The MMR injection, which also prevents mumps and rubella, gives near-perfect immunity but 95% of children must be vaccinated to prevent outbreaks.
Figures from the UK Health Security Agency show that only 86 per cent of five-year-olds received two doses.
What are the symptoms of measles?
About 10 days after the disease is in remission, signs become noticeable.
NHS outlines early symptoms of measles…
- cold-like symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, and coughing
- painful, red eyes may be sensitive to light
- high temperature (fever), possibly up to about 40C (104F)
- small grayish white spots on the inside of the cheeks
A few days after these flu-like symptoms appear, a rash usually begins to appear.
Raised red-brown spots on the body, usually starting on the upper neck and spreading downwards.
Serious complications can occur, including miscarriage in pregnant women, brain swelling, and the risk of death from pneumonia.
How can you get the measles vaccine?
Adults and children on the NHS both get the MMR vaccine for free.
To get your jab MMR, call your local general practitioner’s practice and request an appointment.
Family doctors give the first dose when the baby is one year old and the second dose when the child is three, before the child starts kindergarten.
Babies younger than six months old cannot get the measles vaccine.
The NHS advises: “The best approach for children under six months is to try to avoid exposing them to measles.
“Also make sure that the rest of your household has had MMR shots, especially if you plan to visit an outbreak area, as families are most at risk.”
What to do if you think you have measles?
If you suspect you or one of your family members is infected, notify your GP to schedule an appointment.
Remember to mention measles on the phone so the surgeon can make the necessary arrangements for you.
To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, avoid human contact as much as possible.
In most cases, measles will clear up within a few weeks.
To help ease your symptoms during this time, you may be advised to take some pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.
Drinking plenty of water and getting some rest will also help your body recover from the virus.
In severe cases, the patient may be hospitalized for treatment.
Should you vaccinate yourself against measles?
In rare cases, measles can be fatal.
Worryingly, the contagious symptoms can even lead to other complications, including ear infections, pneumonia, and even meningitis.
Adults and children over six months of age can get the MMR vaccine to prevent illness.
The NHS advises: “It’s never too late for your child (or yourself) to ‘catch up’ with the MMR shot if they missed it earlier.
“Children up to age 18 and non-immune adults should get the MMR vaccine.”
https://www.thesun.ie/health/793343/measles-disease-mmr-vaccine-symptoms-news/ What is measles, can you get it twice, what are the symptoms and can you get it if you got the MMR vaccine?