Why the MMR Vaccine is Needed
Before the introduction of the MMR vaccine as a routine part of childhood vaccination programmes, all three conditions, measles, mumps, and rubella, were prevalent amongst children and highly contagious. The vaccination programme has done a remarkable job of cutting down the incidence of the disease to the point that infections barely occur. In this article the conditions that the MMR vaccine protects against are described in more detail to provide a better understanding of why the vaccine is such an important part of modern vaccination.
Measles can be found across the world and often affects children at a young age. The condition can sometimes strike during adulthood, but most incidences occur at a young age. This disease can be fatal in some cases, and is highly contagious.
The symptoms include diarrhoea, bronchitis, fits and a noticeable rash, and the condition can potentially cause severe brain damage. As evidenced by its symptoms, measles is a very dangerous disease that is caused by a virus.
The primary method of measles infection is through the respiratory tract. Infection is likely through contact with mucus or fluids from the nose or mouth of a person suffering from measles. This contact can either be direct or through sneezing or coughing (aerosol transmission). The virus is so contagious that non-vaccinated people stand a 90% chance of catching it if they come into contact with a measles infected person.
Measles is further complicated by the fact that there is no treatment. In many cases the infection can be extremely straightforward, resolving itself with some bed rest. However complications are a highly probable consequence of a measles infection. Complications include pneumonia or bronchitis, both infections of the respiratory tract (breathing system), and encephalitis (the potentially fatal swelling of the brain). These conditions can be treated and must be managed with careful medical attention.
The mumps may sound like an unassuming infection, but it is a very potent viral infection that remains a serious health risk for children living in developing countries. Mumps are typified by a visible and often painful swelling of salivary glands, which may be accompanied by a rash and/or orchitis (swelling of the testicles). Unlike measles however, mumps are less severe in children, but pose a serious threat to adult and teenage males. The disease can cause fertility issues, however treatment remains elusive, and the infection runs its course on its own.
Like measles, mumps are primarily spread through contact with secretions from the respiratory tract. The mumps virus can actually survive on surfaces that have been sneezed or coughed upon, and once a person is infected with the disease, they are contagious from about a week after their symptoms begin for about 3 weeks.
Rubella is often referred to as the German measles, and is caused by the rubella virus. The condition is by no means limited to Germany, and is known by the name ‘German measles’ because it was first discovered by German scientists.
Infection with Rubella causes a distinctive rash on the face, body, and limbs, which typically lasts about three days. The rash is often accompanied by a mild fever, headache, pain in the joints, and swollen glands or lymph nodes.
Rubella can affect anyone of any age, and its severity increases as the age of the infected person increases. The virus is also quit contagious and is also spread through respiratory secretions from infected people.
The MMR vaccine has dramatically reduced the impact of these once commonplace diseases, and in doing so has saved countless people from potentially severe and life threatening disease.
- What is the PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination)?
- Safety of PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination)?
- Administering PCV
- What is PPV?
- Safety of PPV
- Who gets the PPV Injection?
- What is the Meningitis C (MenC) Jab?
- Is the MenC Vaccination Safe?
- Who needs the MenC Vaccine?
- What is the BCG Vaccine?
- Who gets the BCG Vaccine in the UK?
- BCG Effectiveness
- Safety of the BCG Injection
- Tuberculosis Vaccines
- What is the Hib/MenC injection?
- Who gets the Hib/MenC Jab?
- Safety of the Hib/MenC Jab & Side Effects
- What is the DTaP/IPV Injection?
- Safety of the DTaP/IPV Vaccine
- Why Should I Get a Vaccination?
- How do Vaccinations Work?
- How are Vaccines Made?
- Vaccination Programmes
- Vaccination & Herd Immunity
- Vaccines & Eliminating Disease
- Benefits of Vaccination
- Risks & Side Effects of Vaccination
- Vaccination, Immunisation & Artificially Acquired Immunity
- Where Can I Get Vaccinations?
- Vaccines Availability
- Safety of Vaccinations
- Types of Vaccine
- When are Vaccinations Provided?
- Vaccination & Pregnancy
- Childhood Vaccinations
- Childhood Vaccination Programme
- Safety of Childhood Vaccinations
- British Children Vaccinated against Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Children & Side Effects after Vaccination
- Childhood Vaccinations against Rare Diseases
- Why are Children Vaccinated at Different Ages?
- Child & Baby Health on the Day of Vaccination
- Vaccines For Teenagers
- Vaccines offered to Adults
- Vaccines for the Elderly
- Travel Vaccines
- Travel Vaccination for Polio
- Travel Vaccines for Diphtheria
- Travel Vaccinations for Tetanus
- Travel Vaccinations for Typhoid
- Travel Vaccines for Cholera
- Travel Vaccines for Hepatitis
- Travel Vaccines for Encephalitis
- Travel Vaccines for Yellow Fever
- Travel Vaccines for Meningococcal Meningitis
- Travel Vaccines for Rabies
- NHS Travel Vaccinations
- Occupational Vaccines
- Workplace Vaccinations in the UK
- Live Vaccine
- How do Live Vaccinations Work?
- Are Live Vaccines Safe?
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Live Vaccinations
- Inactivated Vaccines
- How do Inactivated Vaccines Work?
- How Effective are Inactivated Vaccines
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Inactivated Vaccines
- Subunit Vaccine
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Subunit Vaccines
- How Safe are Subunit Vaccines?
- Toxoid Vaccine
- Are Toxoid Vaccines Safe?
- DNA Vaccine
- Advantages & Disadvantages of DNA Vaccines
- Conjugate Vaccine
- Are Conjugate Vaccines Safe?
- Flu Vaccination
- 5-in-1 DTaP/IPV/Hib Injection
- Safety of DTaP/IPV/Hib Vaccine & the Side Effects
- MMR Vaccine
- What type of vaccine is MMR?
- Why the MMR Vaccine is Needed
- MMR Vaccine Administration in the UK
- Recent Resurgence of the Measles Virus
- Is the MMR Vaccine Safe?
- Side Effects of the MMR Vaccine
- Vaccination Against Polio
- NHS Polio Vaccine
- What is IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine)?
- Oral Polio Vaccine
- Swine Flu Vaccination
- Seasonal Flu Vaccine
- What Type of Vaccine is the Flu Vaccine?
- Safety of Seasonal Flu Vaccine
- Who Should and Who Shouldn't have the Seasonal Flu Vaccine?
- HPV Vaccination
- What is the HPV vaccine?
- What is Cervarix?
- What is Gardasil?
- Further Information
UK HEALTH CENTRES
- Colonic Irrigation
- Cosmetic Surgery
- Cosmetic Treatments
- Dental Treatments
- Fertility Treatment
- Hair Transplants
- Harley Street
- Hearing Aids
- Laser Eye Surgery
- Laser Hair Removal
- Medical Centres & GPs
- Private Blood Tests
- Private Health Insurance
- Sleep Disorders
- Smoking & E-Cigarettes
- Sports Medicine
- STD's & STI's
(Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
- Tattoo Removal
- Vasectomy Reversal
- Weight Loss Surgery
- Glossary A-Z
- Latest UK Health News
SELECT A LOCATION