In recent weeks, we often hear the word “measles” in combination with the much more frightening word “epidemic”.
In this regard, we at City Lab Medical Laboratory wish to clarify the nature and characteristics of this disease.
What is the measles virus?
Measles, also known as smallpox and cranberry, is an infectious disease characterized by a specific rash on the skin, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract and complications from the respiratory system in general.
The disease is transmitted from person to person by airborne droplets and is extremely contagious.
Upon contact with a carrier of the virus, the chance of infection approaches 100% for non-immunized persons.
Children between the ages of 2 and 10 are most often affected by smallpox. Infants are protected because they receive antibodies from the mother through breast milk, provided she has built up immunity.
There is no specific treatment for smallpox and symptoms usually subside after 2-3 weeks.
The virus suppresses the immune system and makes the body susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. In its acute phase, it can affect both the brain and the lung and cause a fatal disease, and in some cases, complications may not appear until years later.
How to protect against infection?
The main means of prevention and fight against smallpox is vaccination. The vaccine is among the mandatory ones in our country and is carried out in two stages – at 13 months of age and reimmunization at 12 years of age. Immunization creates lifelong immunity. The vaccine was introduced in 1969.