Every day in Ukraine there were new cases of measles, and their number is increasing. About it reports the Ministry of health than adding fear and stress to millions of parents across the country.
How serious epidemiological situation, vaccination is the panacea and what precautions should be taken — on these and other important issues we consulted our experts: Oleg Nazarov, the chief immunologist of the Medical chamber of Ukraine, MD, and Katherine Gulenko, a pediatrician highest category, the national coach of UNICEF on issues of immunization.
TO KNOW THE ENEMY IN THE FACE
Measles is an acute infectious viral disease with nearly 100% level of receptivity. The measles virus is highly volatile, airborne, and the patient may spread to adjoining rooms and even to other floors.
The incubation period of measles is 8 to 10 days but occasionally lasts up to three weeks. Others may be infected
1-2 days before the appearance of obvious symptoms, so a high risk to get a disease from a healthy looking child.
- fever and runny nose;
- dry cough;
- in some cases, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye);
- typical of the disease the rash does not appear immediately, but only after a few days: first on the cheeks, behind the ears and on the face, and then down throughout the body.
The danger of measles not only in it, but in the two unpleasant features:
1. A significant decrease in immunity gives, as a consequence, a high probability of additional
of infection other infections (usually bacterial).
2. Intense loss of vitamins A and C in the body ill may lead to complications. The most severe complications — measles pneumonia and encephalitis, unfortunately, quite common.
TO STOP SCALE
According to Oleg Nazar, on the epidemic in Ukraine can not speak yet. But the fact that the number of cases is increasing every day, is undeniable. The reason for this is primarily the lowering of the so-called herd immunity: now the country has a lot of unvaccinated children against measles: part — due to the lack of vaccines in medical institutions in the previous periods, part — because of the failures of parents. Given that one sick child the virus can infect up to 10 other children, the spread of the disease receives widespread. But if these 10 children had been vaccinated against measles — the further spread of the disease occurs.
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To date, all medical institutions of Ukraine have sufficient number of vaccines in order to fill the gaps. Time the immune response is gradual: to 14 days after vaccination produces about 50% protection from the virus, and complete protection is achieved within one month. Therefore, it is important in the current situation, to postpone the question of vaccination of the child for later.
HOW TO PREVENT
“Unfortunately, in modern medicine the concept of panacea for anything does not exist”, — said Mrs. Gulenko. Any vaccine gives protection in 95-98% of cases. Ill do the remaining 2-5% of individuals after vaccination depends on many factors — the characteristics generate an individual immune response, and compliance with immunization schedule. But even in this case, the disease will be mild, without complications. Agree, this is a very powerful argument for a decision in favor of vaccinations.
In addition to vaccination, safety precautions universal:
IMPORTANT! At the first sign of disease, isolate the patient and consult the doctor. Do not waste time and do not rely on self!
IS THERE A PANACEA?
“Unfortunately, in modern medicine the notion of a panacea for anything – does not exist” – said Mrs. Gulenko. Any vaccine gives protection in 95-98% of cases. Ill do the remaining 2-5% of individuals after vaccination? It depends on many factors: the features of individual elaboration of the immune response, adherence to immunization schedule. But even in this case, the disease will be mild without complications. Agree, this is a very powerful argument for a decision in favor of vaccinations.
SHOULD I BE AFRAID OF ADULTS
Contrary to popular belief, measles is not just a childhood disease. An adult can get sick with the same probability as the child, and the disease with age is harder. However, in an adult environment the spread of measles does not occur with such intensity as among children. The reason — all the same collective immunity: the mass measles vaccination began in the USSR in 1967, and the vast majority of adults under the age of 51 years received protection against measles in childhood.
If an adult vaccinated in childhood, had been in contact with sick with measles, you have the option of emergency vaccination within 72 hours in order to minimize the risk of complications if infection does occur. Otherwise, the recommendations for adults are the same as for children: at the first sign of the disease should immediately consult a doctor.