Measles cases reported: Cologne warns of highly contagious viruses
Health experts recently pointed out the increasing number of measles cases in Germany. In Cologne, too, more and more people are currently contracting the highly contagious infectious disease - especially adults, but also children. The city's health department is calling for vaccination protection to be checked.
Significantly more measles cases than in the previous year
Some people still dismiss measles as a harmless childhood disease. But the disease also affects adults. Illnesses are currently on the rise in Cologne. Since the beginning of 2018, 16 confirmed reports have been received by the Domstadt Health Office, which is twice as many measles reports as in the same period last year.
“Measles is a serious illness that is caused by viruses. This is not a harmless childhood disease, ”says a message from the Cologne Health Office.
The disease 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 may lead to death," warns the health department.
Transmission by droplet infection
"Unprotected people can easily become infected when an infected person is nearby," the message says.
"Measles are 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 - today often in combination with a vaccine against chickenpox. Basically, two vaccinations are required to be fully protected.
In Germany measles vaccination is recommended for children from the eleventh month of life, for infants in a day care center from the ninth month.
And: "A single vaccination against measles is generally recommended for all adults who were born after 1970 and who have not been vaccinated against measles at all or only once during childhood or whose vaccination status is unclear," writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on his website.
"People who were born before 1970 are very likely to have had measles," said the experts. (ad)