Archive | Measles

All About Vaccines: What Adverse Reactions Are Possible?

Children are normally required to be provided various vaccines in accordance to their age.  However, not too many people are familiar with the problems that are linked with adverse reactions to vaccines.  Although these reactions are rare, they definitely require you to be familiar with them.  These reactions are generally caused by hypersensitivity to chickens, eggs, gelatin, antibiotics, and mercury.
 
Allergies from Antibiotics
 
 Polio vaccines, MMR or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines, and varicella vaccines contain neomycin which could cause minor skin rashes.  If your child, however, has allergy with this type of antibiotic, it is advised that you do not subject your child to this type of vaccine. On the other hand, children that are allergic to penicillin antibiotic are safe to take this vaccine as no vaccine contains this type of antibiotic.
Allergies from Eggs and/or Chickens
 
 The vaccine commonly called as the “flu shot” or the influenza vaccine has egg proteins.  People, in general, who have an allergic reaction to eggs or chicken, should never take this kind of vaccine.
For people who travels especially in tropical countries like Africa, chances are you may be prone to Yellow fever.  However, yellow fever vaccines also do contain egg protein.  What can be done to resolve this is to take two skin tests using the vaccine.  If both skin tests did not show any reaction, you or your child may proceed with taking the vaccine.  If any of the two tests presented a reaction, this means that a desensitization process has started.
The MMR vaccines are safe to be taken by children with egg or chicken allergies.  Children with dramatic egg allergies are also improbable to have any adverse reaction to this type of vaccine.
 
Allergies from Gelatin
 
  There are a number of live vaccines that use gelatin as their stabilizing agent.  Children who have severe allergic reaction to gelatin are advised to take skin tests first before taking these vaccines.  Gelatins either come from boiled hogs or cows.  Most gelatins come from boiled cows.  Vaccines that contain gelatin usually come from boiled hogs.  You will need to determine first what type of gelatin your child is allergic to. Vaccines that have gelatin in their ingredients are MMR, yellow fever vaccines, and varicella.
Allergies from Mercury
 
Mercury also referred to as thimerosal in vaccines, is a component found in some vaccines.  This is usually used in killing contaminants in the body.  Although severe allergic reactions to this ingredient are rare, children who are allergic to mercury should still be cautious.  Vaccines that use this as an ingredient are usually those that are found in a multi-dose tablets.
Vaccines that are typically included in the routine schedule are free from mercury or thimerosal or contain only a small amount.  There are also a number of inactivated influenza vaccines available.  However, these types of influenza vaccines have limited supply.  The PHS or the Public Health Service and the AAP or the American Academy of Pediatrics has already taken steps to eliminate the use of mercury as an ingredient to vaccines.  Preservatives were also required, especially those for multi-dose vials to avoid any forms of microbial contamination that happens when the vial is unwrapped.  All manufacturers of these types of vaccines were persuaded to look for other options of preventing contamination.

Posted in Allergies, Chickenpox, Child Safety, Infections, Measles, Mumps0 Comments

Preparing Your Kids for Immunization in Advance

Immunizations also called vaccines are drugs used to prevent certain forms of diseases and infections, as defined by Kids Health.org, a website supported by the National Institutes of Health. Immunizations are usually given during the early years of childhood, some infants as young as a few days old are already given vaccines in some parts of the world. Most vaccines are made using a very small and controlled amount of the bacteria that it targets. This weakened microorganism stimulates the body to form antigens and antibodies for specific for that disease. Commonly, vaccines are injected into the body, but some are taken orally. Vaccines are also given at pre-determined doses and schedules, a few are just given once, but most of them are given more than 2 times.

Vaccines do not guarantee 100% protection and disease prevention. Many factors contribute to this. A person may not form enough antibodies against the bacteria or his system might not react to the immunization given.  Some of the diseases that already have vaccines and immunizations include the Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Measles, Chicken Pox, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Mumps, Tetanus and Rabies. Newborn babies are temporarily immune to diseases because of the antibodies they get from the placenta and breast milk but as they grow older, this immunity fades away. The American Academy of Pediatricians or AAP has a recommended vaccination schedule for children who belong to different age groups.

1)      Hepatitis B Vaccine – Given to prevent Hepatitis B infection in the liver which can potentially lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. This vaccine is given in 3 doses. The first dose can be given as early as 12 hours after birth. The second dose is introduced 1 to 2 months after the first and the third dose will follow after 6 to 18 months after. The immunity this vaccine provides is long term and can last up to adulthood.

2)     Pneumococcal Vaccine – Immunization against pneumonia, bacterial meningitis and blood infections. Pneumococcal Vaccine or PCV is given in 4 doses. The first dose is given when the baby is 2 months old. The second dose is given during the fourth month. The third dose follows at the sixth month and the last one is given at the twelfth month. After giving the vaccine, the child might experience a slight fever and soreness in the injection site.

3)     DTaP – The DTaP vaccine provides immunity for 3 diseases namely diphtheria, a serious throat infection, tetanus, a nerve disease and pertussis or whooping cough. DTaP is given in 5 doses. Usually introduces at the 2nd month, 4th month, 6th month, 15th month and 6th to 8th year of life respectively. Booster doses needs to be given for tetanus every 10 years.

4)     Inactivated Polio Virus or (IPV) – The IPV vaccine provides immunity for poliomyelitis, a debilitating viral infection. Usually given at the 2nd, 4th, 6th month and during ages 4 to 6. IPV vaccine is one of the few vaccines that can be given orally. The IPV vaccine provides permanent protection against polio.

Posted in Flu, Measles, Medical Care, Meningitis, Mumps1 Comment

Common Causes of Skin Rashes in Children

Sometimes, even if mothers give the most resolute kind of care to their children; the fact remains that there really are some things in life that cannot be eliminated, let alone, be avoided. Although, arming yourself with information will help you cope with different problems that might come your way during motherhood.

A rash is obviously a reaction of the skin to something; the reasons may be varied but it will boil down to a situation or condition that does not seem to fit the delicate skin of children. During the diagnosis of the problem, the associated symptoms are the ones that are investigated as these give the clue on what exactly is the problem. Since most rashes are almost always the same, it is important to be able to decipher the difference. Yet, as a precautionary measure, your doctor or a trusted healthcare personnel should be your resource person in evaluating the rashes although admittedly, rashes are rarely an urgent matter in the past compared to these days with epidemics happening anywhere.

The most common cause of these bumps is an allergic reaction. Your child could be suffering from being exposed to harsh and irritating agents like bath soap, the detergent used in clothes and even the clothes he is wearing. Be wary when his rashes are accompanied by difficulty in breathing as this could indicate an allergic reaction to foods. Moreover, a bee sting could also be possible. The breathing difficulty should be a reason to rush your child to the hospital. Otherwise, if the rashes are pretty much controllable particularly when a child has colds or fever, then, the hospital rush is not exactly necessary.

A collective group of viral illnesses is also identified as a common cause. Chicken Pox, Roseola, Coxsackie and Fifth Disease could be culprits of the rashes. These rashes are accompanied with fever. Distinctively, Chicken Pox rashes start as the ones similar to insect bites and then progresses to blisters; these eruptions take undergo several change in the features over time but Day 3 will really tell you if it is indeed the disease. On the other hand, Roseola is a condition that has the rash disappearing on the fourth day. The rash starts from the upper trunk specifically the back until it spreads to the extremities.  Coxsackie, meanwhile, is just concentrated on the mouth, hand and feet. Finally, the Fifth disease will look like your child has been slapped in the cheeks which then spreads to the trunk then the extremities. Accompanied by a runny nose and cough, the disease disappears with relatively no complications. Measles, another condition caused by a virus are also pointed as common causes. The drill is to make sure that the child is protected by a vaccine; if not, a doctor should be seen immediately.

Certain conditions of the skin referring to eczema, warts, facial rash, scabies, dermatitis, ringworm and impetigo are also some common causes of skin rashes. These situations necessitate the use of medications as opposed to heat rash and insect bites where helping the child feel cooler and a gentle touch in the affected area works out.

Posted in Allergies, Measles, Scabies, Uncategorized1 Comment

Study shows no link between MMR jab and Autism…

A recent British study, the largest of its kind, has reported that there it has found no evidence of a connection between the vaccine for Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and autism.

This comes after a huge debate that was sparked off back in 1987 after a doctor suggested that the MMR vaccine caused autism. As a consequence, a lot of parents paid heed and didn’t vaccinate their children; this lead to an outbreak of all 3 diseases.

The recent study, which screened the blood samples of a group of children (all who’d previously received an MMR shot), didn’t find any abnormal responses to the vaccine in their immune system.

[source]

Posted in Infections, Measles, Mumps0 Comments

England & Wales: Measles at all-time high…

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has reported the highest level of measles in England and Wales since records started in 1995.

They recorded 971 cases of measles in 2007, compared with 740 cases in 2006 – that’s a 30% jump.

The HPA’s report went on to say that most of the outbreaks were amongst communities where ‘vaccine uptake has been historically low’.

There has also been a smattering of smaller outbreaks in schools and nurseries; most of those infected were under 15 years old.

Over 70% of all measles cases were reported in the South East England; and of those, over half were in London.

[source]

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Measles Prevention

Measles, also known as rubeola, is an infectious viral disease that primarily affects the a respiratory system and mostly occurs in winter and spring. The most common symptoms of measles include fever, a hacking cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, and a spreading rash, some of which last about 2 weeks. In most cases, measles treatment simply involves treatment of the symptoms, with paracetamol, regular rinsing of the mouth, and plenty of fluids to drink. Serious and rare complications can result from measles, such as pneumonia, hepatitis, and brain inflammation (encephalitis), and immediate medical treatment should be obtained if there is any sign of these developing. Measles symptoms and complications are usually more severe in adults.

Measles, like all viral diseases, cannot be treated with antibiotics. Also like most viral illnesses, the best way to avoid measles is via vaccination.

Even in developed countries, where vaccination programs are common, there are misguided and misinformed people who refuse vaccination for themselves and/or their children. To protect these foolish people, and visitors to your area from other countries who have not been vaccinated, contact should be limited until a medical diagnosis has been established excluding mumps, or until at least 10 days have passed since the symptoms subsided.

Measles can be prevented with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, and this vaccine immunizes against all 3 diseases.

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine prevents measles, mumps, and rubella. These three vaccines are safe given together. MMR is an attenuated (weakened) live virus vaccine, which means that after injection, the viruses grow and cause a harmless version of the infection in the vaccinated person with no symptoms or very mild symptoms. After the vaccination, the person’s immune system fights the infection caused by the weakened versions of the measles-mumps-rubella viruses and life-long immunity develops.

Usually the MMR vaccine is given to children at 12 to 15 months of age. A second booster vaccination with MMR is often given between the ages of 4 and 12.

More than 95% of people who receive a single dose of MMR will achieve life-long immunity to all three diseases. The second vaccination with MMR confers life-long immunity to those who did not fully respond to the first vaccination.

A benefit of having suffered measles is life-long immunity, and the MMR vaccine has a similar effect. If the worldwide uptake of any vaccine is high enough, the actual disease can be eradicated, as is the case with smallpox.

As with all immunization schedules, there are important exceptions and special circumstances. Consult your doctor for the latest information.

In the US, before the measles vaccine became available, there were approximately 450,000 measles cases each year and an average of 450 measles-associated deaths were reported each year. Widespread use of MMR vaccine has led to a 99% reduction in measles cases compared with the pre-vaccine era.

However, measles is common in other countries where it spreads rapidly and can be easily brought into countries where vaccination programs are common. So, if vaccinations were stopped, then measles would return to pre-vaccine levels and hundreds of people would die from measles-related illnesses every year.

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Measles Treatment

Measles, also known as rubeola, is an infectious viral disease that primarily affects the a respiratory system and mostly occurs in winter and spring. The most common symptoms of measles include fever, a hacking cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, and a spreading rash, some of which last about 2 weeks. Serious and rare complications can result from measles, such as pneumonia, hepatitis, and brain inflammation (encephalitis), and immediate medical treatment should be obtained if there is any sign of these developing. Measles symptoms and complications are usually more severe in adults.

Because measles is caused by a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. And, like most viral illnesses, a measles infection (in the majority of cases) can simply be left to run its course.

In most cases, measles treatment simply involves treatment of the symptoms, with paracetamol, regular rinsing of the mouth, and plenty of fluids to drink.

If you suspect that your child has measles then contact your child’s doctor. Close contact with your doctor will let you both monitor your child’s progress and will help identify the onset of any complications.

At home, it is important to regularly monitor the sufferer’s progress and to check for the onset of any complications before they have a chance to become serious or life threatening. The sufferer’s temperature should be monitored, and a written record kept of the readings, dates, and times. If the temperature climbs above 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius), then seek medical advice.

It is also beneficial and safe to use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and other fever medications to bring down a fever.

WARNING DO NOT USE ASPIRIN. Unless instructed by your child’s doctor, don’t give aspirin to a child who has a viral illness since the use of aspirin in such cases has been associated with the development of Reye Syndrome – a serious and potentially deadly encephalitis-like illness. Instead, acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be used safely.

As with most viral diseases, there is no specific antiviral therapy for measles, and the basic treatment consists of providing necessary supportive therapy to control the symptoms and make the sufferer as comfortable as possible. For example, encourage your child to drink clear fluids: water, fruit juice, tea, and lemonade. Fluids help the body replace water lost in the heat and sweating of fever episodes. Fluids also reduce the chance of lung infections (pneumonia) because they reduce the viscosity of lung secretions, stopping them from clogging breathing passages.

A cool-mist vaporizer will also help relieve the cough and soothe the breathing passages. To avoid the formation of mould, clean the vaporizer each day. Hot-water and steam vaporizers should be avoided because they can cause accidental burns or scalds to children.

Vitamin A supplements are believed to improve the outcome of measles if the patient is deficient in vitamin A.

Children with measles should rest and avoid busy activities, TV, bright lights, and reading. It is usually safe for children to return to school about 7 to 10 days after the fever and rash have subsided.

If a person’s immune system is weakened by measles, then they will be more susceptible to other bacterial infections, especially in the ears and lungs. When this happens, antibiotics should be obtained to control the secondary bacterial infections.

People who have a measles rash and fever are infectious and they should minimize the risk contact with other people to reduce the chances of spreading the disease to others who may be susceptible to measles.

Even in developed countries, where vaccination programs are common, there are misguided and misinformed people who refuse vaccination for themselves and/or their children. To protect these foolish people, and visitors to your area from other countries who have not been vaccinated, contact should be limited until a medical diagnosis has been established excluding measles, or the symptoms resolve completely, or 7-10 days after the fever and rash have subsided.

Persons who are potentially infectious with measles should especially avoid public transport (including commercial airlines) and crowded indoor areas.

Before visiting a clinic or hospital, people who suspect that they may have measles should call ahead before so that arrangements may be made to minimise the exposure of others to measles.

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Measles Transmission and Diagnosis

Measles, also known as rubeola, is an infectious viral disease that primarily affects the a respiratory system and mostly occurs in winter and spring. The most common symptoms of measles include fever, a hacking cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, and a spreading rash, some of which last about 2 weeks. In most cases, measles treatment simply involves treatment of the symptoms, with paracetamol, regular rinsing of the mouth, and plenty of fluids to drink. Serious and rare complications can result from measles, such as pneumonia, hepatitis, and brain inflammation (encephalitis), and immediate medical treatment should be obtained if there is any sign of these developing. Measles symptoms and complications are usually more severe in adults.

The measles virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of infected people. When they sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air and the droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours.

Measles is a highly contagious disease, and about 90% of non-immunized persons will develop measles if they live in the same house as someone who has the disease. The measles virus can be spread to other people from airborne droplets of fluid from the nose or mouth. People with measles are usually contagious from about 5 days after exposure to about 5 days after the rash appears.

Diagnosis of measles is usually based on the symptoms. Various laboratory tests may help with the diagnosis, but they are usually unnecessary.

In some cases, if your doctor suspects that you or your child has measles, a virus culture or serologic blood test may be needed. This blood test can detect measles antibodies, which indicate whether you have had a recent or past infection of the disease.

If you suspect that you or your child has measles, then contact your doctor as soon as possible to avoid the risk of developing complications or spreading the disease.

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