According to a WHO report, Measles caused 114,900 deaths worldwide in 2014. This means that there were 314 deaths every day of the year or 13 deaths every hour. Measles remains one of the leading causes of death in children globally, despite the availability of an affordable vaccine.
Between 2000 and 2014, vaccination against this disease resulted in a 79% drop in the number of deaths attributable to Measles.
How Does Measles Affect Children?
Measles is a highly infectious disease, usually affecting children. It is spread through droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected individual. Within 10 or 12 days of being infected, the victim develops high fever, a runny nose, red eyes and small white spots inside the mouth. Days later, rashes start appearing on the face and neck, which gradually spread to the rest of the body.
No specific cure for measles has yet been devised, although affected patients recover within 2 or 3 weeks of the first symptom. But in some cases, especially in people with reduced immunity owing to other ailments or in malnourished kids, Measles can cause blindness, encephalitis (a debilitating inflammation of the brain), pneumonia, severe diarrhea or infection in the ear.
Giving your Children Vaccines for Measles is Safe
For UAE-based children, vaccines protecting against Measles, Mumps and Rubella (the MMR vaccine) are compulsorily administered to infants at the age of 12 months. In November 2015, a second dose of this vaccine was provided to school going children in order to boost their immunity and ensure that these diseases are totally eradicated from the Emirati Federation.
Parents worry that giving children the MMR vaccine can cause a form of autism in their child – a belief that is not supported by scientific evidence. Besides, vaccinations can be painful and accompanied by fever, stiff and painful joints, sore arms and mild rashes. But all these conditions are temporary and heal easily and quickly.
Contraindications for MMR
Only those who suffer contraindications from components of the MMR vaccine, such as Neomycin, and have experienced life threatening conditions attributable to it, should not be administered the MMR vaccine. You should check with your doctor and have your child examined for any known contraindications. For all others, the MMR shot is perfectly safe and economically priced.
Another adverse indicator is an allergy to eggs because MMR is derived from viral cultures developed in the chicken embryo and can have traces of hen protein, which can cause an anaphylactic reaction.
Any mild fever or pain experienced after giving children vaccines for Measles can be relieved with common oral solutions, such as Nurofen, which contains Ibuprofen and becomes active within 15 minutes of ingestion.