Measles outbreak in Ukraine: Why massively sick children and how to protect yourself from the disease

Over the past year in Ukraine, more than 43-fold increase in the incidence of measles. If in 2016 we talked about 78 cases by the end of 2017, we are talking about more than 3000, and the number of cases continues to grow.

Today outbreaks of measles recorded in 17 regions (the leaders of Ivano-Frankivsk, Odesa, Chernivtsi and Ternopil region), while sporadic cases recorded across the country. And, unfortunately, already have lethal outcomes: in the Odessa region as a result of complications of the disease, died five people, including two children.

The health Ministry say, they say, this is not an epidemic, but that in the near future the situation will change substantially, do not promise. Perhaps only in the second half of 2018.

What is this disease and how it is transmitted?

Measles is considered dangerous acute infectious viral disease with a high level of susceptibility (index of contagiousness is close to 100%), who are mostly children aged 2-5 years and much less often adults who have not had the disease in childhood.

Its main features – high fever (to 40.5 °C), inflammation of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and upper respiratory tract, conjunctivitis, maculopapular rash of the skin, General intoxication.

Like influenza, measles is transmitted by airborne droplets: the virus is released into the environment sick man with mucus during coughing, sneezing, etc. However, according to doctors and immunologists, it can be transmitted through everyday objects. For example, if you use some clothes or hygiene items with the sick person (bathroom, WC, towel, spoon, Cup, etc.).

At room temperature the activity of the virus keeps up to 2 days at a low temperature for several weeks.

Infection occurs this way: the virus enters the healthy person through the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, then the bloodstream gets to the lymph nodes and affects all types of white blood cells after breeding (somewhere on the 3rd day) in the lymph nodes, the virus re-enters the blood and begin to manifest the main symptoms of the disease.

The majority of measles cases observed in winter-spring (December-may) period, with a rise in the incidence every 2-4 years.

The main symptoms and characteristics flow

The first symptom of measles, as already mentioned, is the strong increase in temperature (sometimes up to 40,5 °C). It occurs in 8-14 (rarely 17) days after infection and lasts from 4 days to a week.

In addition, patients see sneezing, dry cough, runny nose, eye redness, lacrimation and photophobia, sore throat, headache, eyelid edema and conjunctival redness, diarrhea, and small white spots on the inner surface of the cheeks.

Typical for measles rash of small papules, surrounded by slick and tend to merge, can be seen on 4-5th day of the disease. First it appears on the face, neck and behind the ears, on the following day – on the trunk, then on limbs. And remains on the skin 5-6 days.

Regression of lesions begins with the 4th day of the rash: temperature returns to normal, the rash darkens, turns brown, pigmentada, flakes (in the same sequence as the rash). Pigmentation persists for 1-1.5 weeks.

Hospitalitynet patient depending on the severity of his condition and the presence of signs of disease. With uncomplicated form of measles a person can leave the house under quarantine, but with the active patronage of local therapist or pediatrician.

It should be noted that the difference between the incidence of children and adults with measles is very large. Adults suffer children infection much more difficult. This is due to immunological reaction of the body, the specificity of the regenerative functions.

Also with the disease of measles can occur a number of complications, including the most common laryngitis, croup (laryngeal stenosis), tracheobronchitis, otitis media, primary measles pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, measles encephalitis, hepatitis and lymphadenitis.

How to protect yourself and loved ones

Unfortunately, specific treatment for measles no, it is treated solely symptomatically. That is, to ease inflammation of the respiratory tract appoint expectorant, mucolytics and anti-inflammatory sprays; to relieve pain of fever and use antipyretics; with itching on skin struggling through daily rinsing, etc.

The only effective method of protection from disease consider its prevention by vaccination. The procedure you need to go twice.

In particular, children are recommended to do the first vaccination against measles, since 1 year, because before this time they still can remain immune from the mother (if she was vaccinated), the second in six years. The process according to the schedule.

If for some reason this was not done at the recommended age, the doctor needs to address immediately. The second inoculation in this case, the doctor prescribes not less than a month.

It should be remembered that vaccination of children aged 1 to 9 years is free. The health Ministry claimed that all hospitals have adequate amount of vaccine. Otherwise, the vaccine will have to buy at the pharmacy.

Sometimes it happens that a person does not know if he has antibodies, and if he needed vaccinations. The fact that the majority of the adult population was inoculated against measles in the Soviet Union, and then it was thought that one vaccination. To answer to this question will help the laboratory test, which can also be done at a local hospital.

Also do not forget that vaccination is very effective, but there are mistakes, so during measles outbreaks even in vaccinated from disease, people were advised to avoid large concentrations of people. In addition, it is important to respect the rules of hygiene, modes of loading, and sleep, proper nutrition.

Why Ukraine has so many sick with the measles?

Proceeding from the above, we get a fairly simple answer to this question: the current level of vaccination of the population of Ukraine is far from absolute.

On the way to the reinforced measures for immunization of the population has become and the high rate of refusals (7.4 per cent – more than 56 thousand children), and a high percentage of contraindications, low percentage of coverage of the reinforced measures for vaccination of older children, and in some regions – lack of a sufficient number of vaccines, that indicates a problem with the redistribution of drugs.

However, as noted, children who have not received any doses of the CCP, are to be vaccinated much later than necessary.

Progress on vaccination and now record in those regions where there were outbreaks, – Ternopil, Odessa, Lviv, Transcarpathian and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.