Measles case at the university: Students and staff may have been infected
Some people still dismiss measles as a harmless childhood disease. But the disease also affects adults, as a recent case from Dresden shows. There, the student was diagnosed with the measles virus. As the young woman has been in different rooms of the university, secondary illnesses are expected.
Infectious measles virus diagnosed
In the past few months, health experts have repeatedly pointed out the increasing number of measles cases in Germany and called on the population to have the vaccination protection checked. The highly contagious measles virus was also diagnosed in a student at the Technical University (TU) Dresden. Because the young woman has been in different rooms of the university, secondary illnesses are expected. Students and employees of the university are advised to seek advice from a doctor if necessary.
Secondary diseases are expected
According to a message from the Dresden Health Office, a student at the TU Dresden has measles.
According to the information, the young woman attended lectures in various university buildings on Tuesday, January 8 and Wednesday, January 9, and ate in the student union canteen.
Since the disease broke out on Thursday, January 10, she has been receiving medical care. The incubation period is eight to ten days.
Therefore, complications are expected in the next few days, according to a statement by the authority, which was published on the website of the TU Dresden.
Transmission by droplet infection
Measles is a highly contagious disease. According to the health department, contact of non-immunized people with the virus is very likely to lead to illness.
This does not apply to people who have been vaccinated or who have had measles themselves.
The transmission takes place by droplet infection. When coughing, sneezing or speaking, the pathogens get into the air and can pass on the disease even a few meters away.
Staying in one room can be sufficient, regardless of the length of contact. The viruses in the air usually die after a few hours.
A typical rash develops after four to seven days
The disease usually begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose, inflammation in the nasopharynx and the conjunctiva, as well as white spots of lime on the oral mucosa.
After three to seven days, the typical rash forms, which begins behind the ears and face, then spreads over the whole body and persists for four to seven days.
The rash is blotchy, nodular and flowing into one another; The soles of the hands and feet are usually spared, over time the red spots become darker.
When the rash subsides, the skin may flake.
Sick people are contagious five days before and up to four days after the rash breaks out. During this time, patients should stay in bed as far as possible and not receive a visit.
Every tenth patient suffers from complications. Infants and toddlers are particularly at risk because they do not yet have adequate immune protection.
Measles weakens the immune system for at least six weeks after the disease, so that other pathogens can be warded off more poorly.
This can lead to middle ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory tract and lung infections as well as the dreaded meningitis, which occurs in 0.1 percent of cases and can be fatal in ten to 20 percent of these cases.
Going through measles disease leaves lifelong immunity.
Check vaccination status
The Dresden Health Office advises you to consult your family doctor if the typical symptoms appear. In this case, the practice should be informed of the suspicion in advance in order to avoid infection from other patients.
It is also advised to check the measles vaccination status and, if necessary, to refresh it.
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)