Immunization in children is one way of preventing dangerous infectious diseases from an early age.
What is MMR Vaccine?
The MMR vaccine is a vaccine used to protect the body from three types of diseases, namely measles, mumps, and rubella. The MMR vaccine is recommended for all age groups, especially children and older persons who have not received this vaccine.
The MMR vaccine contains a combination of weakened measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. The administration of this weakened virus will trigger the immune system to produce antibodies to fight all three diseases.
Currently, a combination of vaccines has been developed called MMRV vaccine. This vaccine not only protects the body from measles, mumps, and rubella, but also chicken pox. MMRV vaccine can be used for children aged 12 months to 12 years.
Here’s an explanation of measles, mumps, and rubella.
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that attacks the respiratory tract.
Measles-causing viruses can very easily spread through saliva splashes or mucus coming out of the mouths of people sick with measles when coughing or sneezing.
Measles is also easily transmitted from direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
In addition, measles can be transmitted through the habit of sharing personal items, such as borrowing cutlery or drinking from the same glass.
Symptoms of measles that you should be aware of are:
- Red rash on the skin
- Nose emits snot
- White spots on the mouth (Koplik spots).
Severe measles can cause pneumonia in children, ear infections, and brain damage.
Another measles complication that is also fatal is encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) which can cause children to convulsions that require immunization.
Mumps (parotitis) is an infectious viral infection that attacks the salivary glands.
Everyone can get infected with mumps, but the disease usually occurs in children aged 2-12 years.
The virus that causes mumps is transmitted through saliva that comes out with a gust of air when people are sick with coughing or sneezing.
In addition, your child can also get this disease if it comes into direct contact or uses the goods of someone who contracted mumps disease.
The most obvious symptom of mumps is swelling of the salivary glands so that the cheek area and around the neck look round, swollen enlarged.
Here are other symptoms of mumps:
- Swelling of the salivary glands
- Muscle pain
- Pain when chewing or swallowing
- Pain in the face or both sides of the cheeks
- Sore throat.
Sometimes, the virus can also cause inflammation of the tes**ticles, ovaries, pancreas, or meninges (the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord).
Deafness and meningitis are other possible complications of mumps. This condition make everyone need MMR vaccine as a preventive measure.
#3. Rubella (German measles)
Rubella or commonly referred to as German measles is an infection of the rubella virus that causes the appearance of red rash spots on the skin.
The measles-causing virus also causes the lymph nodes of the neck and back of the ears to swell.
The signs and symptoms of rubella are often so mild that it is difficult for parents to pay attention, especially in children.
Symptoms of measles in children usually begin to appear about 2-3 weeks after the body begins to be exposed to the virus. Here are the symptoms:
- Nasal congestion or colds
- Inflamed red eyes
- The pink rash is smooth on the face and quickly spreads to the torso, then to the arms and legs, before disappearing in the same order.
- The joints of the body hurt, especially in women.
Everyone is at risk of developing rubella or German measles. Rubella in children and older persons can generally improve quickly, is harmless, and rarely causes fatal complications.
New measles is particularly dangerous in pregnant women, especially in the first four months of pregnancy.
If a woman is infected with rubella in early pregnancy, the baby is at risk of disability or even a stillborn baby.