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Measles more likely among poorly nourished children: NIH.

ISLAMABAD -- Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A, or whose immune systems have been weakened by other diseases.

According to National Institute of Health in Islamabad, measles is a highly contagious viral disease mostly affecting children.

Despite high community vaccination coverage in the country, measles outbreaks can occur among under-vaccinated children.

Its virus spreads via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of the infected persons.

Immunity after measles infection is life long, although there are rare reports of measles reinfection.

Symptoms may include: bloodshot eyes, cough, fever, rash photophobia, muscle pain, conjunctivitis, runny nose, sore throat, tiny white spots inside the mouth (Koplik's spots).

The occurrence of fever beyond the 3rd and 4th day of rash suggests a measles-associated complication.

Measles can cause variety of clinical syndromes such as post measles infections like pneumonia, lifelong brain damage and neurologic syndromes, deafness and death.

The incubation period of the disease is 10-12 days with a maximum range of 7-18 days.

Five or more clinical cases in a single location over a 30 day time with at least one lab confirmed case constitute an outbreak requiring investigations and response.

A suspected patient is one with fever, generalized maculopapular rash with one of these: cough, coryza and conjunctivitis (3Cs).

While a confirmed case is a laboratory-confirmed or linked epidemiologically to a laboratory-confirmed case

The treatment of measles includes antipyretics, fluids and antibiotics for bacterial super infections.

The prevention and control measures should include immunizing population at risk as soon as possible.

Priority is to immunize children of 6 months to 5 years old, regardless of vaccination status or history of disease.

Children who are vaccinated against measles before 9 months of age must receive a 2nd measles vaccination.

All children aged 6 months - 5 years should also be administered prophylactic vitamin A supplement, the NIH report concluded.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Mar 2, 2016
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