What are the symptoms of measles and who should be vaccinated now? Aif.ru told about a disease with 100% contagiousness infectious disease doctor, candidate of medical sciences Andrey Pozdnyakov.
What do we know and don’t know about measles?
Measles, which is also called childhood plague (it used to be the main cause of death in young children), is notorious for its severe course – with a high temperature (39 ° C) and severe intoxication.
Measles also has a reputation as an “immune-killing” disease. Therefore, it so often gives complications – sinusitis, tonsillitis, laryngotracheitis, bronchitis and even encephalitis. And although the last complication is recorded in one in a thousand, it can be fatal.
After measles, a person can be affected even by those infections that he already had or against which he was previously vaccinated. So, there were cases when patients repeatedly fell ill with chickenpox. But it is believed that chickenpox gives lifelong immunity.
How do you know if you have measles?
Measles begins with fever and severe catarrhal symptoms (runny nose, conjunctivitis, cough). The rash occurs only on the fourth or fifth day of illness. First on the face, neck, shoulders, upper chest. Then it covers the torso, arms to the elbows, then descends to the hands and legs.
Should we expect a massive measles epidemic now?
Despite the large number of cases, experts do not predict an epidemic comparable to covid or flu. An analysis of laboratory tests for measles antibodies for 2022 showed that 78% of Russians who passed the tests are immune to measles. Of course, these data cannot be equated with a full-fledged population screening, but they indicate that herd immunity has been formed in the country.
Who needs a measles vaccine?
However, personal immunity is more reliable than collective immunity. How to understand if you have it? The best option is to check the vaccination certificate. If not, you need to pass a quantitative test for the determination of immunoglobulin G to the measles virus. There is no immunity – so get vaccinated. The immune response develops quickly.
The vaccine should also be given after contact with a person with measles. In the first three days, this will help prevent a severe form of the disease.
Revaccination against measles is carried out for people over 36 years old if they are at risk (work in areas that involve contact with a large number of people – medicine, public transport, utilities, etc.).