While parts of Europe have been experiencing a large measles outbreak with thousands of cases, the situation in Portugal is not to date alarming. However, health officials reported an additional four cases in the past week bringing the total cases to 10, according to an RTP Noticias report (computer translated).
The newest cases were reported from Lisbon and the Algarve.
Most are not vaccinated. Among the hospitalized, there are adults and children under 12 months, the age for the first dose of the vaccine. The vaccination coverage rate in Portugal is high, ranging from 95 to 97 percent.
Measles is caused by a virus belonging to the paramyxovirus. The disease is one of the most infectious diseases that exists. Measles virus excreted by breathing the air and spread through air droplets (aerosols). Susceptible people infected via the respiratory tract or mucous membranes of the eyes.
The incubation period is 7-18 days, usually about 10 days.
At the onset of measles is acute with rapidly rising fever, eye irritation and increasingly troublesome dry cough. After a day occurs a red and often confluent rash that usually only seen in the face and then spreads down the trunk and extremities.Another early symptoms of measles are small white spots on the buccal mucosa (Koplik’s spots).
Complications are quite common. Toddlers often suffer from respiratory problems and the infected mucous membranes may become secondarily infected with bacteria. Children can then have, for example, otitis media, sinusitis or pneumonia, which often requires antibiotic treatment. Measles virus is also capable of causing pneumonia in itself.
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