Measles are even more serious than people realize, doctors have warned.
The highly contagious infection starts with a fever, cough and purple rash, but can lead to fatal complications.
Three people suffering from hepatitis, viral meningitis and appendicitis after contracting measles were discussed in a report published today.
It is in the midst of a worldwide outbreak of cases as a result of the declining intake of the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella).
The two-dose jab offers maximum protection against all three infections, but “unfounded fears” of the risks have led many to reject it.
Measles, which starts with a fever, cough and purple rash, is even more serious than people realize, doctors have warned. Three people who got measles and later suffered hepatitis, viral meningitis and appendicitis were discussed in a report published today
Doctors at Mater Dei Hospital wrote in the British Medical Journal that measles can lead to “many and varied” conditions that affect all organs.
About 30 percent of all reported cases are related to one or more complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These are most common in children younger than five years and adults older than 20 years.
Common complications include diarrhea and vomiting, eye and ear infections, and epileptic seizures, according to the NHS.
Although most people with measles recover within about a week, Dr. Thelma Xerri and colleagues emphasized how severe it can get.
Rare and more serious problems are pneumonia, febrile seizures and encephalomyelitis – inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that causes neurological problems.
A possible complication is a progressive neurological disorder that causes permanent damage to the nervous system and leads to a vegetative state, doctors wrote.
Involvement of multiple organs can lead to disability or even cause death, the team said.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MEZERS AND HOW CAN YOU CATCH IT?
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that easily spreads from an infected person through coughing, sneezing or even just breathing.
Symptoms develop between six and 19 days after infection and include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes, fever, and rash.
The rash appears as red and spotty spots on the hairline that travel down over several days, turn brown and eventually fade.
Some children complain that they do not like bright light or develop white spots with red backgrounds on their tongue.
In one in 15 cases, measles can cause life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, convulsions and encephalitis.
Dr. Ava Easton, general manager of the Encephalitis Society, told MailOnline: ‘Measles can be very serious.
“[It] can cause encephalitis, which is a brain infection.
“Encephalitis can result in death or disability.”
Treatment is aimed at staying hydrated, resting and, if necessary, taking pain killers.
Measles can be prevented by receiving two vaccinations, the first at 13 months old and the second at three years and four months to five years old.
Source: Great Ormond Street Hospital
They revealed the cases of three unidentified people who were diagnosed with measles complications in the hospital in Malta in 2019.
A 29-year-old man suffered from intermittent fever with chills and vomiting for four days before going to the doctors. On the second day in the hospital, he developed the typical measles rash.
The man, who had only taken one or two doses of the MMR vaccine, developed hepatitis inflammation of the liver.
An 18-year-old British woman who never received the vaccine visited the hospital in Malta during her vacation.
She had a rash on her stomach, face and limbs for three days, as well as a dry cough.
The measles with appendicitis was diagnosed and she stayed in the hospital for two weeks to recover.
A middle-aged man saw medicine in the hospital a week after his doctor diagnosed measles. He suffered from eye irritation and headache.
He appeared to have viral meningitis – an inflammation of the mucosa of the brain and spinal cord.
The trio is thought to have had serious problems because the measles virus leads to a decrease in immune cells. This can take up to a month, which destroys the body’s ability to fight other diseases.
All patients in the report recovered fully and had no long-term health problems.
However, full vaccination would have protected all three against the virus. The Daily Mail is campaigning to encourage the inclusion of MMR vaccines in children.
Dr. Xerri and colleagues said: ‘Measles, once thought to be a disappearing viral infection as a result of effective vaccination, is returning worldwide, with more and more cases among adolescents and adults.
“This has been attributed to anti-vaccination campaigns in the early 21st century, which has resulted in a decrease in overall herd immunity.”
“Herd immunity” is when a substantial part of the population is vaccinated against a disease and those who are not protected are less able to spread the disease among themselves.
For vaccines to be truly effective, 95 percent of the population must be immunized to achieve herd immunity. In England only 86 percent receive both injections by the age of five.
Even small decreases in intake can have serious consequences for an entire community, which has become clear in recent years.
Experts have described measles outbreaks as an “unprecedented” global crisis that caused more than 110,000 deaths worldwide last year, mainly children under the age of five.
10,000 measles cases were reported in Europe in the first six months of 2019.
In the past, the UK had the status ‘measles free’ to a clear increase in the number of cases in 2018.
There were 991 confirmed cases in England and Wales, the number of 284 cases in 2017.
The hesitation to take children for their jabs has been accelerated by antivaxxer myths about the dangers of the MMR jab being spread on social media.
False claims in the early 2000s that have linked the MMR vaccine to autism are still widespread.
The investigation, led by the disgraced physician Andrew Wakefield, has since been discredited.
The authors of the BMJ report wrote: ‘There are currently major outbreaks of fatalities in European countries that had previously eliminated or interrupted endemic transmission.
“Urgent efforts are needed to ensure global coverage with two-dose measles vaccines through education and enhancement of national immunization systems.”
Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of vaccination at Public Health England, said: “Measles are very easy to catch and can kill. Fortunately, we have a very safe and effective vaccine that can stop the spread of measles and save lives.
‘But if you have not had your two doses of MMR vaccine, you are at risk. If you are unsure whether you are aware of your two doses of MMR vaccine, contact your doctor’s office. It is never too late to protect yourself and others. “
IS ANDREW WAKEFIELD’S DISCREDITED AUTISM RESEARCH ON DEBT FOR LOW MEASUREMENT VACCINATION RATES?
Andrew Wakefield’s discredited autism study has long been responsible for a fall in measles vaccination coverage
In 1995, gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield published a study in The Lancet that showed that children who had been vaccinated against MMR were more likely to have bowel disease and autism.
He speculated that injecting with a ‘dead’ form of the measles virus through vaccination causes disruption of the intestinal tissue, which leads to both disorders.
After a paper from 1998 further confirmed these findings, Wakefield said: “The risk of this specific syndrome [what Wakefield termed ‘autistic enterocolitis’] development is related to the combined vaccine, the MMR, rather than the individual vaccines. “
At the time, Wakefield had a patent for vaccinations against single measles, mumps, and rubella, and was therefore accused of a conflict of interest.
Nevertheless, BMR vaccination rates in the US and UK plummeted until the editor of The Lancet Dr. Richard Horton in 2004 described the Wakefield investigation as “fundamentally flawed,” and added that he was paid by a group that pursued lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers.
The Lancet formally withdrew Wakefield’s research paper in 2010.
Three months later, the General Medical Council prohibited Wakefield from practicing medicine in the UK, and stated that his research had shown a “callous disdain” for children’s health.
On January 6, 2011, The British Medical Journal published a report showing that out of the 12 children included in the 1995 Wakefield study, at most two had autistic symptoms after vaccination, instead of the eight he claimed.
At least two of the children also had developmental delay before being vaccinated, but the Wakefield article claimed that they were all “previously normal”.
Further findings revealed that none of the children had autism, non-specific colitis or symptoms within days of receiving the MMR vaccine, but the study claimed that six of the participants were all three members.