Various infections are revolving around which can infect you severely. Measles is a highly contagious disease that is airborne and spreads through sneezing and coughing of a person. This airborne infection can cause tiny rashes on face and the feet. It could be even more problematic with children as it could develop inflammation in the brain. You may have cough, runny nose, fever, red eyes and sore throat in people. Even though measles is a very common infection, many people have misconceptions around this disease. Today we will look at some common myths and facts behind measles infection.
Myths and Facts about Measles Infection
Myth-1 Only children get measles
This is a very popular belief that only children are vulnerable to measles infection. This is because children are at higher risk of infections. Also children have lower immune strength because of which the infection rate is more in children. But this is not true, adults can also get measles infection but their immunity develops over the years, hence the vaccine can prevent them from getting this condition. Also risk of complications is higher in adults if they get infected with measles infection.
Myth-2 Everyone needs to get measles vaccine
No, in case of measles vaccine is not compulsory for everyone. MMR vaccine should not be given to babies younger than 6 months of age. Also people that are born before 1957 do not need to take vaccine because many of them had already had measles infection or have got early vaccines at that time. MMR vaccine should also be avoided for people that are under certain medication of going through some immune disorder. It could be possibly dangerous for them.
Myth-3 There are natural ways to prevent measles
Many people believe that measles can be cured using home remedies or natural methods. This is not true and they should not take this rest. People whose children are getting infected from measles need to understand that there is no natural cure for this disease yet. Vaccination is the only way to prevent you from contracting measles. Patients are hesitant because of misconceptions and misinformation spreading in regard of measles vaccines. MMR vaccine is safe and is the only way to prevent this severe infection.
Myth-4 MMR vaccine can cause autism
As mentioned above, there is a lot of misinformation floating about MMR vaccine and this is one of them. It is absolutely wrong statement; you will not have autism because of getting MMR vaccine for measles. Even though this vaccine is given as same time when autism vaccine is given, there is no connection between these two conditions. Measles is a very different viral infection which is contagious whereas autism is a disease mostly due to some nervous disorders.
Myth-5 Too young children cannot get vaccines for measles
There is a perception that children about 1 year of age cannot get their measles vaccine. It is not true, in most of the cases, measles vaccine is given in 12-15months of birth. It should just not be given to babies before 6 months of age. So if you think that your children do not fall under 6 months, then you are good to go. Potential issue with vaccine below the age of 1 year is only that babies are not able to produce enough antibodies in their body at that stage and therefore the vaccine won’t be effective.
Myth-6 There is no need of booster shot once you receive vaccine
It needs to be understood that booster shot is not actually booster but just a preventive way to reduce the risk. The effectiveness of first vaccine shot of measles has been around 93% whereas after getting second shot at the age around 4 years gives 97% of efficacy. Hence it is just a good way to avoid measles infection. It is totally safe and does not mean that first shot of vaccine was ineffective.
Myth- 7 Measles can occur multiple times
Unlike chicken pox, measles does not affect you again. Once you have got measles, then there is no possibility of getting this infection again. The reason is that it gets cleared from your system and you develop immunity against it. Hence this is a myth and you need not worry about getting measles repetitively.
Myth- 8 Hand washing can prevent measles
Unfortunately it is not true. Hand washing multiple times can reduce the risk of spreading measles and illness, but it cannot prevent it from spreading. Measles spreads through live particles and is therefore very contagious. It can be present in the room for several hours and can infect you anytime even after sanitizing or cleaning the surface. Hence hand washing cannot actually prevent you from getting measles infection, only MMR vaccine can.
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