Measles vaccination can protect against brain inflammation

Measles vaccination can protect against brain inflammation

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Measles vaccination also protects against neurological diseases

Some people still dismiss measles as a harmless childhood disease, but it also affects adults. Another problem is that the dangerous infectious disease does not always cure easily and can lead to neurological diseases. According to health experts, measles vaccination can protect against neurological complications.

Infectious disease

Measles is highly contagious. The disease is transmitted via a droplet infection. It starts with flu-like symptoms such as high fever, cough and runny nose. The characteristic rash follows later. In general, measles weakens the immune system. As a result, bronchitis, otitis media or pneumonia can occur. In rare cases, the infection can be fatal. The disease is particularly dangerous in infants and young children. Health experts are now pointing out that an infection can also cause serious damage to the nervous system. Vaccination could offer protection here.

Complications of measles infection

A measles infection does not always heal easily: ten to 20 percent of patients experience problematic development. Possible complications include serious bacterial infections and nervous disorders.

This is indicated by the professional association of neurologists (BDN) on the portal "Neurologists and Psychiatrists on the Net".

“A measles infection can manifest itself in the central nervous system and cause various diseases there. As a result, neurological damage can also be fatal, ”explains Dr. Curt Beil from BDN.

Deadly consequences

A feared complication is the so-called acute disseminated encephalitis (ADEM), a form of brain inflammation. This is extremely rare, but very dangerous.

"The disease leads to death in up to 20 percent of those affected and hearing loss or permanent neurological damage can be expected in up to 30 percent," says Dr. Ax.

Other neurological complications, according to doctors, include the rare subacute measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE) and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), which gradually destroys the brain.

Experts call for vaccination

The BDN points out that both children and adults should be immunized against measles according to the recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO).

The vaccination is usually given with a combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

In connection with the infectious disease, there is a lot of discussion about a possible measles vaccination in Germany. In Italy, such a law was introduced a few months ago.

A majority of Germans would welcome vaccination, but numerous experts are against it. They prefer education rather than vaccination. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Measles Explained Vaccinate or Not? (August 2022).