What is measles? 什麼是麻疹?
Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by Measles virus. Incubation period usually ranges from 7 to 18 days.
Affected persons present initially with cold-like symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing and cough. Other early symptoms include fever, sore and red eyes and small greyish-white spots in the mouths. These are followed 3 to 7 days later by red-brown blotchy rash, which usually spreads from the head or upper neck to the rest of the body.
The infection usually clears in around 7 to 10 days, and lifelong immunity will be developed. Serious complications like pneumonia and encephalitis do occur, and could cause death especially in children under the age of 5.
How does it spread? 如何傳播?
Measles virus can be spread by droplets that come out of the nose and mouth from an infected person during coughing or sneezing. The virus can also be transmitted by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected persons, or articles soiled with nasal or throat secretions. An infected person can be infectious from the time of symptoms development until about four days after appearance of the rash.
Vaccine? Prevention? 如何預防?
There is no specific treatment for measles, but vaccination is effective to prevent the disease. Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine can be administered by injection for immunisation against measles. Children should follow the recommended schedule of local childhood immunisation programme for vaccination.