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one person can infect 18 others”

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one person can infect 18 others”

“Measles is a less banal disease than you might think,” he warns Alberto Villanihead of general pediatrics and level II director of the pediatric hospital Baby Jesus of Rome.

What risks does it involve?
«The course is very calm in the vast majority of cases but can sometimes cause complications, mainly represented by pneumonia and involvement of the central nervous system, therefore with meningitis and meningoencephalitis. Years later it can cause a very bad disease, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis which leads to death after a slow, devastating deterioration.”

INSIGHTS

Is there little attention to vaccination?
«In general, there is little culture and sensitivity.

In any case, we are returning from a disastrous epidemic in 2017, with over 5 thousand cases and a dozen deaths. It’s good to keep your guard up.”

When should you get the vaccine?
«Vaccination is normally practiced at the age of one year of life, then there is a booster in the sixth year. But it is possible to get vaccinated at any age.”

Side effects?
«A little discomfort, pain, redness may appear at the injection site, and a slight fever may appear between the fifth and twelfth day; in exceptional cases some small spots appear on the body. Very rare occurrences and within the scope of trivial effects.”

Can it happen that there is no antibody response?
«If you are vaccinated there is generally an answer. Exceptionally it may not be there. Very rare cases.”

What to do in case of contagion?
«Since it is a disease that in theory should no longer be registered, and is in fact rare, the problem is the diagnosis: if spots appear on the body, the pediatrician should be contacted. In the vast majority of cases it can easily be treated at home, the problem is that it is very widespread, one person can infect 9 to 18 people. If the outbreak starts it is very easy for it to spread. We need to get vaccinated and be very careful.”

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