More and more measles diseases in Cologne: Amt calls for vaccination
According to the Cologne Health Office, the number of measles diseases continues to rise in the cathedral city. It mainly affects adults, but sometimes also children. The authority calls for the vaccination protection to be checked.
Rising number of measles diseases
An increasing number of measles cases in Germany have been reported over the past few months. Illnesses are also increasingly being registered in Cologne - especially in adults, but also in children. As the health department of the cathedral city reports in a message, the age ranges "from infancy (six months) to senior age (62 years)."
The Health Department has received 90 confirmed reports since the beginning of the year (as of June 5, 2018). According to the information, there were nine in the same period last year.
"Measles are extremely contagious and not a harmless childhood disease," said Health Director Dr. Harald Rau.
The disease caused by viruses can lead to considerable complications and long-term consequences. Measles usually start with a high fever, cough and runny nose.
Within a few days, the characteristic rash forms on the face and behind the ears and spreads over the whole body.
If the symptoms do not alleviate after eight days, the risk of serious complications such as pneumonia and otitis media or infections of the larynx and trachea increases.
"In rare cases, the worst consequences of measles disease can be inflammation of the brain and brain, which can lead to death," the office writes.
"Unprotected people can easily become infected when an infected person is nearby," the message continues.
Measles is contagious as early as five days before the rash appears and four days after the spots have become visible. The pathogens are transmitted via droplets, for example when speaking, coughing and sneezing.
Health experts advise vaccination
A double vaccination offers the best protection against the viral disease. Therefore, according to the office, it is important that adults now have their own vaccination protection and that of their children checked by a doctor and completed if necessary.
Measles vaccinations are carried out as combination vaccinations, the so-called measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations - nowadays often in combination with a vaccine against chickenpox.
Two vaccinations are generally required to be fully protected.
In Germany measles vaccination is recommended for children from the eleventh month of life, for infants in a daycare center from the ninth month.
Due to the unusual frequency of measles cases and the fact that mainly adults fall ill, the Cologne Health Office advises adults who have not had measles and have only been vaccinated once to have a second vaccination carried out.
"Adults who have not had measles and are not vaccinated at all or do not know exactly whether and how often they have been vaccinated should now receive two vaccinations every four weeks," writes the authority.
What to do if measles occurs
If the disease has broken out, there is no causal treatment, only symptom relief and the treatment of concomitant diseases.
"Community facilities such as schools and day care centers may not be visited as long as there is a risk of infection," says the health department.
Any person who has had even brief contact with a measles sufferer is considered a "contact person". In a school or day care center, this includes all people who visit this facility or work there.
In case of contact, the vaccination protection must always be checked. If this is incomplete, vaccination can prevent the onset of the disease in the first three days after contact.
Contact persons who have neither vaccination protection nor such "re-vaccination" must stay away from the school and the day care center for 14 days. (ad)