Travellers urged to get vaccinated after measles outbreak in Thailand

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Mums and dads, if you are travelling to Thailand, do make sure that the family is vaccinated against measles...

Measles cases in Thailand are on the rise, with more than 14 deaths and 1,500 cases reported since September 2018. Southern provinces like Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat have been the most affected.

Apparently, a false rumour is to blame for the alarming resurgence of the disease.

Measles cases in Thailand increase due to false rumour

The increasing number of measles cases in Thailand is apparently due to low vaccination rates among the Muslim community in the South, thanks to a false rumour.

The rumour claims that the measles vaccine contains gelatin, which is derived from pork products. However, a Thai health official has already refuted the rumour, and clarified that Thailand imports measles vaccine products that do not contain gelatin derived from pork.

Also, a video message from the Central Islamic Council of Thailand has clarified that, even if vaccines contained religiously prohibited ingredients, medical benefit to the person and the community is far more important.

Mums and dads, if you are travelling to Thailand for the year-end holidays, do make sure that the family is vaccinated against measles. The MMR vaccination is the most effective way to prevent this disease.

What is Measles

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus. It causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms.

measles cases in Thailand

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik's spots
  • A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another

The rash breaks out 3–5 days after symptoms start, sometimes along with a high fever up to 40°C.

The red or reddish-brown rash usually begins as flat red spots on the forehead. It spreads to the rest of the face, then down the neck and torso to the arms, legs, and feet. The fever and rash slowly go away after a few days.

Any treatment involves relieving of symptoms.

Measles patients need to be monitored closely as sometimes it can lead to complications like ear infection, bronchitis. pneumonia, diarrhoea, encephalitis etc.

The best way to protect kids is to make sure they're immunised against measles.

The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine (MMRV) offers protection against the illness. 

The first dose of MMR vaccine can be given when they are 12 months old. The 2nd dose of MMR can be given between 15-18 months. Following MMR vaccination, some children develop a fever and rash 1 – 2 weeks later or swelling of the glands of the neck after 3 – 4 weeks. 

Also READ: Tourists warned about travelling to Bali after outbreak of deadly disease

(Source: ABC News, MayoClinic, KidsHealth)

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Written by

Jaya

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