10 questions about a measles epidemic that extends

Health 30 January, 2018


Published the 30.01.2018 at 11h51


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What are the numbers?

In France, between 1 November 2017 and 18 January 2018, 123 cases of measles have been identified and 81% of these cases are reported in New Aquitaine, according to the ARS. The departments of Gironde and Vienna are the most affected, but isolated cases of measles, may appear at any point and initiate an epidemic. Still according to the Regional Agency of Health of New-Aquitaine (cited by Le Parisien), there are currently 6 new cases reported per day”, and it would be in 130 cases in a little less than 3 months. France, with 500 cases in 2017, is not 15 000 cases of 2011, but the disease is progressing towards 2016. According to the ARS, the coverage is insufficient to halt the epidemic.

What are the characteristics of this virus?

This acute infection is due to a virus, the same family as the one who gives the mumps (paramyxovirus). Man is the only reservoir of the virus known. Apart from epidemics, the virus is still nestled at the bottom of the body of a “bearer” healthy people who don’t even know it.
It is a virus that does not like the heat, (it dies after thirty minutes spent above 60 degrees, and which is destroyed by alcohol 70%..

How is measles normal ?

It is a soap opera that lasts for at least 4 weeks. Let us imagine that a virus enters the body by breathing in contaminated droplets.
First there is the incubation phase, multiplication of the virus, which lasts on average 12 days. No symptoms at all.
Then the invasion begins. It lasts 4 days. But the situation is changing for the patient. It was first a high fever, which is the body’s response to the virus. His nose is running, he coughs ; it is in bad shape and already highly contagious.
Then comes what everyone already knows and which has given its name to the disease : the progressive appearance of red spots : on the face and behind the neck, and finally throughout the body, in 4 days. From the 4th day, the skin begins to peel.
The recovery period lasts ten days, during which the patient remains tired.
More specialist say that the child will be more susceptible to other infections for two years.

This scheme is that of a measles “normal”. Unfortunately, sometimes the virus leads to larger damage.

Measles can be serious?

It remains a lethal disease in all countries where children suffer from malnutrition. The epidemic that affects at this moment Papua is here to remind us of the fact.
Complications from measles can be one of four orders : respiratoiree, neurologiquee, digestivee and eye.
It is estimated that these complications are responsible for one death per 10,000 cases of measles, but they are also responsible for sequelae with, for example, 15 to 20 000 cases of blindness each year.

How the sick are contaminated they may be.

The rule is simple: a patient in order to contaminate 15 to 20 others. It is characteristic of infectious diseases spread by contact between a patient and his entourage, who can spread the virus without suffering symptoms. The measles virus is transmitted by saliva droplets in suspension. Sneezing is a classic of this contamination.
This is why we practice the eviction and protection. Washing of hands, mask if necessary. The period of spread of the virus starts 2 to 6 days before onset of rash on the skin which is annoying if the physician is not familiar with the early signs of measles (fever, cough, red eyes and abdominal pain). The risk of transmission is minimal from the second day after the onset of the rash.

What is the treatment for measles?

There is no specific treatment; Treat measles, it is only combat the symptoms, the fever, the cough and the itch and the complications (pneumonia, encephalitis). There is no specific antiviral treatment against the viruses.

What is the importance of vaccination

It should be clear. the man fight against the virus since the beginning of time. and apart from the foreclosure, he did not know of effective solutions until the discovery of vaccination. It is our only bulwark.

What is our vaccine coverage

It is very poor… in France! It must be remembered that the figures. It is also a headache for the Public Health and Sickness Insurance : coverage in France (the number of vaccinated people) is between 70 and 80% depending on the region. However, measles being highly contagious, the vaccination coverage should be above 95% if we hope to end the disease, as is the european project for which France is committed. This is already the case in the netherlands for example, where routine vaccination has enabled the eradication of the disease. We are gifts go far enough, and the vigilance must not break in front of the flood of fake studies going into blogs that are unconscious.

It is a compulsory vaccination?

In front of the lack of civility of a portion of the French, our authorities have no other solution than to make it obligatory since the 1st January with 10 other vaccines. This should allow us to remove certain diseases, including measles. Provided that physicians are complacent do not state false contra-indications. The council of the order and the Insurance must show firmness in front of all confirmed cases.
However, the “MMR” (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) is a vaccine that is perfectly well tolerated and does not contain aluminum. The Measles vaccination is compulsory before the age of 2 years for children born since 1 January. A second dose of this vaccine is recommended in France between 13 and 24 months (or between 12 and 15 months, in the case of life in a community).

Why are 2 doses ?

It is not a recall, but a catch-up for children who are not sensitive to the first dose. A vaccination with a single dose causes immunity in 90% to 95% of the people, while two doses gives an immunity in more than 98 % .

At the global level, what is the importance of the measles?

It is still a cause of death important in children in a poor state of health, but WHO did a colossal job. Between 2000 and 2005, more than 300 million children aged nine months to fifteen years of age were vaccinated or vaccinated again.
In 20015, nearly 77 % of the world’s population was vaccinated, resulting in a reduction of mortality : less than 345 000 deaths this year on 20 million patients.