Patient Awareness

Preventing Measles: Are you Immunized?

Preventing Measles
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Measles is a disease that can harm people a lot and can especially effect children very easily as it is caused by a virus. It is a contagious disease which requires attention. Initially measles starts with a fever and makes an individual cough, have a runny nose and red eyes. A rash of red tiny spots breaks out immediately after this and mostly starts at the head after which it spreads to other parts of the body making it more difficult in preventing measles.

As it is a communicable disease, it can spread easily in an area when people are not vaccinated. Children are especially prone to measles if their vaccination schedules are not followed. They need to get two doses of vaccinations to prevent measles from affecting them. Measles can be prevented by taking a vaccine in a combination to provide protection against these three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Experts suggested that children should get two doses of MMR at:

  • 1st dose: 12-15 months
  • 2nd dose: 4-6 years

There is an additional vaccine called MMRV, which protects the child from measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (also known as chickenpox). This vaccine is licensed for children between 12 months-12 years. The exact vaccine that is required for your child can be determined by a licensed doctor. It is also advisable that children and even adults (after consulting a doctor) get vaccinated before travelling abroad.  

Measles can cause symptoms like diarrhea, permanent hearing loss and severe complications like encephalitis, pneumonia and even death in children. Long term complications in adults could lead to permanent damage to the central nervous system (which is quite rare). People who have never had a measles vaccination are highly prone to the disease and need to get themselves vaccinated. Experts suggest that adults who have not gotten a measles vaccine should at least get one dose of the MMR vaccination. College students, health care staff/professionals, international/frequent travelers and others who are at an increased risk of the disease are advised to take the two doses of the vaccination. Pregnant women are especially advised to consult their doctor for the vaccination against measles.

Measles spreads very easily through the air when an individual coughs or sneezes and it is a very contagious disease. Though an outbreak of measles in very rare and uncommon, it is always better to get the vaccinations in time. Dealing with the effects of measles can be difficult but having a method for preventing measles will always be helpful. Prevent yourself and your children from contracting this disease by getting immunized today!

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