Worldwide measles epidemics

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One of the latest news to hit the media is the “Omicron” variant of measles containing in the “epidemic” in the USA. While it does not start a new trend the new disease is significantly more harmful, easily transmitted and much more expensive for the local Government and private insurance companies.

The new strain of measles/mumps/rubella was first detected in the USA in December 2018 and initial results of lab tests indicate that at least 200,000 new cases have occurred across the country. In Africa the percentage is even greater according to health sources, due to regional differences in measles vaccination coverage and practices.

The first reported infected person was identified on 23rd December 2018 and so far a total of 31 confirmed cases of measles have been confirmed, all of them in Dallas County, Texas.

The types of measles are A, B, C and D; here are the local form of this disease:

A: Symptoms include a fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and muscle and/or headache. Over time most people with a high fever become unwell and eventually cause pneumonia, or worse, encephalitis. Serious complications are common. Treatment of people with measles includes stopping the infectious virus.

B: Cerebrospinal fluid. How are they infected? Anyone who is immune to the disease appears to have no ill effects, however very old people and young children are especially at risk.

C: Kidney problems. Exposure to the virus in the small intestine cause kidneys to fail. Carers of young children can help avoid infection by not providing bodily fluids like drink or drinks.

D: Depression. Mild reactions occur 10-15 days after the infection, although in more severe cases people’s entire nervous system is affected or they have been severely disabled, the disease can go on to develop into clinical encephalitis or encephalitis syndrome.

Recent diseases to be bandied about include “crisis”, “epidemic”, “epidemic” etc. Despite all that, the impact of measles on the local people in Africa are much more important and more costly because of their spread. For the sake of these children they should at least know what the disease is and do not take their chances of contracting one by doing otherwise.

The large incidences in the USA resulted from a poorly organised vaccination campaign. A “measles” area (a region where a lot of disease occurs) is known to have high vaccination coverage, thus fewer cases occur. The more areas that do not have coverage, the more virus gets into the circulation and this has happened in the Dallas area.

Influenza, also known as swine flu (or “H3N2”) is also extremely high in the US. It causes a severe fever, body aches, cough, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea and can result in extreme discomfort, weight loss, dehydration and jaundice (yellowing of the skin).

The fewer infection depends on a couple of factors. First, the local healthcare system is expected to do a good job of prevention. Second, is when patients with flu do not show serious symptoms they do not go to hospital. Therefore, the less infectious the virus is the less infections there will be.

The latest measures we have seen on the ground as government plans are now limited to “washing the hands to avoid catching the disease”, vaccines and quarantine. This seems to be just a start as we will need state-level intervention to achieve effective control.

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