Measles: Understand why this disease is so dangerous for children and see the importance of vaccination – Revista Kraser

When she woke up one morning in August 2019 with a sore throat, Administrator Veronica Neri, 32, had no idea it would be the beginning of one of the worst months of her life. A mother of three – Matthews, 7, Lucas, 5, and Julia, 3 -, she ignored the discomfort of caring for children (the youngest was only 7 months old at the time), but other symptoms soon appeared, such as fever and skin rashes. Unable to bear the discomfort, he was admitted to the hospital and caught measles.

“I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t know anyone who had the disease,” Veronica told CRESCER in an interview. He took both doses of the vaccine as a child, and despite the fact that vaccination is highly effective (95%), rare infections like this can occur. “I spent a week in the hospital, but when I was finally released and returned home, the real nightmare started. Julia had a fever and when we took her to the emergency room, we discovered she had the virus. “

18 answers to the top hum question

Measles warning signs (Photo: Getty Images)

Veronica’s older children had already received two doses of the vaccine and had not contracted the disease, but the younger one had not been vaccinated because she was not old enough. “There, measles developed very quickly. My ‘only’ daughter had the disease in the morning, but at night I had a baby in the ICU with encephalitis and thrombosis in my legs and arms. She had several complications and needed a blood transfusion. I broke down! “, Mom recalls.

Julia was hospitalized for a long 20 days until she was released. “The doctors told me that if he survived, there would be a greater chance of a sequel. But he went against the prediction, recovered perfectly and even rode a bike without training wheels! I am extremely grateful for the care he has received, and this experience has made me even more in favor of all types of vaccines. “If people only knew how much they could lose in the blink of an eye they loved, they would never fail to get vaccinated or delay the calendar,” said Veronica.

The real threat

Since 2018, when Hum returned to Brazil, stories like Veronica and Julia have changed the lives of some families. In 2021, the country recorded 653 cases of measles and the death of two children aged 7 and 4 months from the virus. Now, in 2022, in the state of S সাo Paulo alone, 2 autochthonous cases of this disease have already been confirmed and another 25 are still under investigation. “Measles has become a more serious threat, mainly due to a decrease in vaccine coverage during this period,” said Rosana Richman, an infectious disease specialist at the Emilio Ribas Institute.

Unfortunately, the news about childhood vaccination rates in Brazil is not good. Only 71.36% of children received the first dose of MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. The recommended index for population protection is at least 95%. Other vaccines had lower adherence, such as those that protect against poliomyelitis (67.6%) and hepatitis A (64.9%). “The epidemic was the last straw, but we’ve already seen a significant drop in vaccine coverage,” the infectologist explained.

According to Renato Cafouri, director of the Brazilian Society of Immunization (SBIM), a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist, the vaccine may have its own success because people do not end up with the disease and forget how terrible it is. They said “many people have stopped vaccinating young children for fear of leaving their homes in quarantine, and the anti-vaccination movement, due to various fake news, has given a part of the population misinformation. We are very concerned, even now in the autumn, when the highest incidence of respiratory viruses occurs. Diseases such as measles are desperate to see that they are no longer infected, leading to new cases. We urgently need to reverse this scenario, and the only way is to update the vaccine card, “Kefouri explained.

 (Photo: Getty)

In 2022, in the state of So Paulo alone, 2 autoimmune cases of measles have already been confirmed and 25 more are still under investigation (Photo: Getty)

Below are the main questions you need to know about measles.

How is measles transmitted and what are the main symptoms?

Measles is highly contagious and when infected people cough, sneeze or talk, they spread air through the drops they emit. The virus does not die as soon as it leaves the body and is able to stay in the air or on some surfaces for a while, making it possible to transmit the disease without direct contact with the person.

In addition, there is a relatively long window of virus infection. An infected person begins to spread the disease within four to five days of the onset of symptoms and stops the infection within four to five days of scarring. It is estimated that a person infected with measles transmits the virus to 16 people in an immunized population. Measles, for example, is much more contagious than Covid-19

The main symptoms are:
– Fever with cough;
– Irritation of the eyes;
– Cold or stuffy nose;
– Acute discomfort;
– Red spots on the body.

Why is this disease so dangerous for infants and children?

It causes more complications in children under 5 years of age and is more dangerous for children under 1 year of age. According to the Ministry of Health, 1 in 20 people infected with measles may develop pneumonia, 1 in 10 may develop acute otitis media, and 1 in 1,000 may develop acute encephalitis due to the virus, a serious complication that can leave the sciatica, such as blindness. And nervous and respiratory disorders. One child per thousand dies of measles.

What is the measles vaccination schedule?

The vaccine against this disease is formed by attenuated virus and is administered under the skin. In SUS, the child receives the first dose at 1 year of age, along with immunizations against mumps and rubella, combined with the MMR vaccine. The second dose is performed at 15 months, during which time, in addition to mumps and rubella, the vaccine against chickenpox (chickenpox), a viral tetra, is also given in the same injection. In private clinics, both doses are viral tetrahedrons.

For those between the ages of 15 months and 29 years, the vaccine card must include two doses of the vaccine, and for those aged 30 to 59, one dose. Those who have not received these will need to go to a health center to complete their immunization schedule.

With the prevalence of cases in Brazil since 2018, some states have established so-called zero doses for children between 6 months and 1 year, in addition to the schemes recommended by the National Immunization Plan (PNI). It is still recommended in Amapa, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Is it possible to protect children under 6 months of age who are not yet vaccinated?

Yes, parents must vaccinate against the disease up to date and avoid freezing the baby.

What are the consequences of pregnancy?

Measles is associated with a higher frequency of serious illness in pregnant women and hospitalization. Early in pregnancy, it can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth. In the second and third trimesters, it is associated with premature birth, low birth weight, and possible neonatal complications.

Since the measles vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women, for safety reasons, it is recommended that the woman who wants to raise a family should have a vaccination record up to date at least 30 days before she becomes pregnant. If you discover pregnancy after vaccination, you should be calm, and take prenatal care, because, despite the cautionary recommendations, there is still no evidence of complications in pregnancy due to the measles vaccine.

Sources: Eduardo Jorge da Fonseca Lima, Pediatrician in the Scientific Department of Immunization of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics, Renato Kafuri, Pediatrician and Infectious Diseases Specialist, Director of the Brazilian Society of Immunization Routinicus and Rosana Ricchisman,

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