Measles is making a comeback and it has recently been in the news. What better way to tackle the topic than to do another question and answer blog post.
Q. What is Measles?
A. Measles is a viral illness that causes a red fine spotty rash, sore eyes and fevers.
Q. What are the complications of measles?
A. Measles can lead to a myriad of complications including but not limited to pneumonia, brain infections and pregnancy complications including premature labour and miscarriage.
Q. How is measles transmitted?
A. Measles is transmitted in a similar fashion to other viral illnesses. The virus is often spread through cough or sneeze droplets. The virus can remain alive in droplets of saliva for several hours. Infection can also occur if individuals touch contaminated surfaces.
Q. Is measles contagious?
A. Measles is one of the most contagious viruses. Some research suggests that 9 out of 10 who come into contact with an infected individual will contract the virus.
Q. How is measles treated?
A. Being a viral infection, there is no real treatment for measles. Supportive care is all that can be offered. This is often in the form of bed rest, fluids and simple paracetamol. However hospitalisation is common. Isolation is also an absolute necessity in managing the spread.
Q. What can i do if i get into contact with someone who has measles?
A. For starters we need to make sure if you are immunised or not. If you are not and contact is less than 72 hours, you will be vaccinated immediately. If between 3-7 days since contact you may be given immunoglobulin to help fight measles. Either way if you have any suspicion see your doctor immediately.
Q. What is the best way to prevent measles?
A. One word – IMMUNISATION and the best thing is its FREE. Children are vaccinated at 12 and 18 month.
Q. I am pregnant, can I get the vaccine?
A. NO, measles vaccinations contains a live vaccine and is contraindicated in pregnancy. You may be offered immunoglobulin if you are not immunised. We encourage all mums to check with their doctor about the immunity status prior to trying to conceive.