Measles is a disease caused by a viral infection characterized by a red rash all over the body. Measles is an infectious disease and can cause serious complications, especially in infants and children.
Based on data from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, until 2018 there were 89,127 cases of measles throughout Indonesia, with 22 cases of which ended in death. Of these, the majority of measles cases were suffered by children under 15 years of age.
Measles Causes and Diagnosis
Measles is caused by infection with a virus from the Paramyxovirida family . This virus is transmitted through splashes of saliva when the sufferer sneezes, coughs, or talks. Transmission of this virus can also occur when a person touches the nose or mouth after touching a contaminated surface.
Apart from exposure, there are factors that can increase a person's risk of getting measles, namely:
- Have not received the measles vaccine or the MMR vaccine
- Traveling to areas with measles outbreaks
- Vitamin A deficiency
Doctors can determine if a patient has measles by asking about the symptoms and examining the characteristics of the rash on the skin. However, in some cases, doctors need to perform additional tests to confirm the diagnosis, namely:
- Blood tests, to check for antibodies to the measles virus
- PCR test via throat and nose swab , to detect measles virus
- Urine test, which is also to detect the measles virus
Measles Treatment and Prevention
Measles clears up without treatment within a few days. However, to help relieve symptoms, sufferers can drink lots of water, take pain medication, and get enough rest. If needed, people with measles can take vitamin A supplements according to a doctor's prescription.
Measles can be prevented by giving the measles vaccine and followed by a combined vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR vaccine). The vaccination must be according to the schedule determined by the doctor.
People who have measles are advised to stay at home until the symptoms subside to prevent transmission of the disease.