Prevention of Measles
Measles is best prevented by active immunization. The vaccine is presented as a freeze dried product. It is most important to store the vaccine at the recommended temperature. The reconstituted vaccine is administered in a single subcutaneous dose of 0.5ml. The diluting fluid for reconstituting the vaccine must be kept cold at about 4 to 8°C. The reconstituted vaccine should be kept on ice and used within one hour.
It is recommended that all healthy children should be administered live measles vaccines at 15 months of age. Usually, a second dose of MMR (measles–mumps–rubella) is given in childhood. Where the incidence of measles is high, the first vaccine is given between six and nine months of age, before the age of one year. Transient fever and rash develop about one week after vaccination in 5 to 15% of children.
Immunity develops 11 to 12 days after vaccination, and appears to be of long duration, probably for life. One dose of the vaccine appears to give 95% protection.
Contradictions to Measles Vaccine
Pregnancy is a positive contradiction. Others include acute illnesses, deficient cell mediated immunity and use of steroids or other immunosuppressive drugs.
Treatment of Measles
Antipyretics and fluids are given as a supportive therapy. Bacterial super–infection could be treated with anti–microbials.