Beware of measles
Measles is an infectious disease transmitted through the respiratory tract (droplets, splashes of saliva when coughing, sneezing, talking, or through nasal discharge), which is caused by the measles virus. In general, the prevention of measles includes a clean and healthy lifestyle and no contact with sufferers. However, the main prevention is measles immunization.
The situation in Indonesia in the last 2 years or almost 3 years since being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has had bad implications for immunization coverage, one of which is measles immunization. In Indonesia, throughout 2022, there have been 12 provinces that have issued measles outbreak statements (KLB). An area is considered an outbreak if there are at least two laboratory-confirmed cases of measles in the area and these cases have an epidemiological relationship. The number of cases acquired over a period of 1 year, from January to December 2022, When compared to 2021, there is a significant increase of approximately 32 times. The reason is that, for two consecutive years, Indonesia has not been able to reach the target for routine immunization services, so many children are not routinely immunized due to COVID-19.
Initially, measles causes symptoms of coughing up phlegm, a runny nose, a high fever, and red eyes. Before the rash appears, the characteristic symptom of small red spots with a blue-white center in the mouth appears.
The rash will appear 3-5 days after the first symptoms appear. Well, the sequence of appearance of these spots starts from behind the ears, goes around the head, then goes to the neck. Eventually, the rash will spread all over the body.
The following are other signs and symptoms:
- Eyes red and sensitive to light.
- Resembling cold symptoms such as a dry cough, a runny nose, and a sore throat.
weak and tired.
- High fever.
- Aches and pains.
- Loss of appetite and lack of excitement
- Diarrhea or vomiting
-In the mouth and throat, there are small grayish-white patches.
How to treat measles depends on the patient's symptoms, age, and overall health, as well as how severe the condition is. The goal of treatment is to help relieve symptoms.
According to the WHO, there is no specific treatment for the measles virus. However, severe complications from measles can be reduced through supportive care, including:
- Much rest. Try to avoid contact with the surrounding environment to prevent transmission.
- Make sure you eat a variety of nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which are high in vitamins and can help boost immunity.
- Drink lots of water to make sure you don't run out of fluids. WHO recommends that measles patients drink an oral rehydration solution, which aims to replace fluids and other important elements lost through diarrhea or vomiting.
- Take pain relievers.
- All children diagnosed with measles are advised to receive two doses of vitamin A supplements, given at 24-hour intervals. The goal is to reverse the low levels of vitamin A during measles that occur even in well-nourished children. Vitamin A supplements have also been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles.
Measles usually occurs in children. However, that does not mean adults are free from this disease. Adults who do not get the measles vaccine are still at risk of developing the disease. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), serious complications are not only more common in young children but also in adults over the age of 20. These complications can include things like pneumonia, encephalitis, and blindness.
The single most effective way to prevent measles is immunization. Now the measles vaccine is widely available in posyandu, puskesmas, clinics, and hospitals. Measles immunization is part of the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and German measles).
The MMR vaccination is a combined vaccine to prevent measles, mumps, and German measles. The dose is given twice.
First, when the child is 15 months old, and the second dose is given when they are 5–6 years old or before entering elementary school.
Apart from immunization, Sahabat Hermina also need vitamins and supplements to maintain your immune systems.
If your child or you have complaints that lead to measles, immediately consult a pediatrician or internal medicine specialist. To make it easier when you want to make an appointment with a doctor, make an online consultation appointment through the Hermina website.