As measles is an airborne disease, it is highly contagious and is easily spread from one person to another. As the symptoms of measles can take 10 to 12 days to become apparent, patients may inadvertently pass the virus on to other people before they realize they are ill, although they are usually most contagious once their own symptoms have developed.
When the virus is contracted, it can cause a variety of symptoms. Usually, patients with measles experience a high fever, eye inflammation, runny nose, cough, white spots inside of the mouth and a flat, red rash on the face and body. Although these symptoms generally last for seven to 10 days, a significant number of patients experience complications as a result of the disease.
Blindness, diarrhea, pneumonia and inflammation of the brain are all associated with measles and can be life-changing or life-threatening, in some cases. Due to the serious complications caused by measles, a vaccination is often used to prevent individuals from contracting the disease.
The Measles Virus Vaccine, Live causes the patient's body to produce antibodies against the virus. When the vaccine is administered, a weakened form of the virus is delivered into the body which stimulates the patient's immune system. Once patients have developed their own antibodies to the virus, they are unlikely to contract the disease in later life.
In most cases, patients are given the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live between the ages of twelve and fifteen months. Typically, patients must have two immunizations in order for the vaccine to be considered effective.
Whilst some patients may be given an initial vaccine between six and 12 months of age, this is only in specific circumstances. Generally, the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live is not given to infants under the age of twelve months as their own antibodies can affect the efficacy of the vaccine. If patients have been given the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live whilst they were under one year old, they should be given two further vaccines after their first birthday, to ensure that they are immune to the disease.
The Measles Virus Vaccine, Live does not protect patients from Rubella, also known as German measles. Although an MMR vaccine can be used to protect against measles, mumps and Rubella, the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live is a separate immunizing agent which only offers protection from the measles virus.
When patients are given the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live, they may experience some adverse effects. For example, patients may exhibit the following symptoms after the vaccine has been administered:
It is not uncommon for patients to experience a rash on their skin and a fever for several days after the immunizing agent has been administered. Whilst these symptoms may develop within hours of the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live being given, they may also develop at a later date. In some cases, patients may not display any side effects until five to twelve days after having the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live.
If the above side-effects are relatively mild and are not bothersome to the patient, additional medical treatment may not be required. However, if patients exhibit the following side effects after receiving the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live, they should contact their physician straight away:
If patients experience any other adverse effects after receiving the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live, they should also obtain medical help.
In rare cases, patients may develop an allergic reaction after the vaccine has been administered. If so, emergency medical treatment should be obtained. If a patient does experience an allergic reaction, they may exhibit the following symptoms:
For patients over the age of 12 months, the standard protocol for the prevention of measles is one dose of the vaccination, given by subcutaneous injection. To be effective, another dose of the vaccine should be given at a later date but there must be at least one month between each dose.
As patients are given the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live via subcutaneous injection, they will usually visit their physician's office to have the immunizing agent administered. Due to this, patients will not have to calculate their own dose of medication and will not have to administer the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live themselves.
If patients are taking any of the following medications, it may not be appropriate for them to be given the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live:
If patients are taking any of the above medicines, doctors may advise them to stop taking their medication temporarily so that the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live can be administered. However, patients should not stop taking any medications unless they are advised to do so by a healthcare professional.
Similarly, the use of the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live is not usually advised if patients are taking any of the following substances:
If patients are currently using any of the medications listed above, their doctor may temporarily modify their dose so that the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live can be administered with a lower risk of an interaction occurring.
Patients should also be aware that they could experience increased side-effects if they are taking the following medication when the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live is given:
Before patients are immunized with the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live, they should tell their doctor if they are using any medicines. This includes prescription medicines, over-the-counter medications, supplements and vitamins. Patients should also obtain medical advice before using any medicines, vitamins or supplements after the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live has been administered.
If patients have any other conditions at the time the immunization is due, or a history of certain conditions, they should notify their physician. There are some conditions which may prevent the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live from being given and these may include:
Although pediatric patients are routinely given the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live, it is not normally used on patients under the age of twelve months. However, if the infant has a high risk of contracting measles, has traveled outside of the United States of America and/or lives in a particularly high-risk area, the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live may be administered before the patient reaches the age of twelve months.
If patients have any medical tests or procedures following the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live, they should inform the relevant healthcare practitioners that they have been immunized recently. This is particularly relevant if:
If older female patients are treated with the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live, they should not conceive or become pregnant for at least three months after the vaccine has been administered. Patients should use effective forms of birth control during this time to protect against pregnancy.
If patients do become pregnant during this time, they should contact their physician straight away.
As the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live is classified as a category C medication in terms of pregnancy, it is not usually given to patients who are pregnant due to the risk to the unborn fetus. If patients are pregnant, they must tell their physician before the immunizing agent is administered.
To date, Measles Virus Vaccine, Live is not thought to pose a significant risk to breastfeeding mothers or their infants. However, patients should obtain medical advice before breastfeeding, once the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live has been administered.
In some cases, the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live can cause patients to exhibit an allergic reaction. Before the injection is administered, patients or their caregivers should tell their physician if they have any known allergies or if they have ever exhibited a reaction to any substances before.
If the patent does exhibit an allergic reaction, emergency medical treatment will be required. Patients or their caregivers should call 911 or obtain help from their nearest Emergency Room. An allergic reaction may include the following symptoms:
Before use, the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live should generally be kept in refrigerated conditions and must be protected from the light at all times.
However, the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live is administered in a clinical setting, such as a physician's office, hospital or treatment center) and a healthcare professional will inject the patient. Due to this, patients will not be expected to store the immunizing agent at home.
Although measles was once a common disease, the efficacy of modern vaccines means that the number of patients contracting the disease is lower. Despite this, the risks and complications associated with measles are still present so it's important that parents, guardians and caregivers ensure that their child's and their own vaccinations are up-to-date.
Whilst many patients are treated with the combined, measles mumps and Rubella vaccine, the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live can be given separately. Once the appropriate treatment protocol has been implemented and patients have had two doses of the Measles Virus Vaccine, Live, they should be prevented from contracting the disease throughout their childhood or during their adult life.