Rubella vaccination campaign

Rubella vaccination campaign

A disease that can cause vision problems requires attention

Rubella is an acute and highly contagious disease caused by Togaviridae, a virus Rubivirus genre. Its main symptom is a rash, small red lesions, similar to those of measles, which usually begins on the face and then spreads throughout the body. The vaccine against rubella, which is part of the Brazilian Vaccination Official Calendar, provides effective protection against the disease and the first dose should be given to children in the first year of life and adults, especially women, who have not contacted with the virus.

Until September 12, the Ministry of Health promotes greater vaccination campaign against the disease ever undertaken in the world in order to immunize adults. Men are the main focus of the campaign this year, as in previous years, the audience were children and women. To get an idea of 8,684 rubella cases confirmed in the country in 2007, 70% of them correspond to male patients. But to eliminate the virus circulation in the country is also essential vaccinate females. In all, 35.3 million women should be immunized. 

Congenital rubella

Rubella virus belongs to Rubivirus family and is transmitted by saliva droplets eliminated when the carrier of the virus or the disease speaks, coughs, sneezes. Not necessarily that individual gets sick and manifest the characteristic symptoms of rubella: fever, joint pain, rash, swollen lymph nodes. Often, the carrier is healthy but carry the virus in the throat, excretes it in saliva and transmit it to others. Most people who get rubella virus do not get sick, but develops an asymptomatic or subclinical infection and transmits the virus for a while. The transmission period begins ten days before the rash appears and persists for another fortnight after his disappearance.

The time at which transmission of the virus occurs without obvious signs of disease, is long. In fact, roughly 20% of infected people develop symptoms. The other 80% are asymptomatic, although they are transmitting the virus. The rubella virus is called teratogenic, it has the ability to cause changes in developing tissues. Therefore, the earlier in pregnancy the woman is infected with it, the greater the damage to the child. In recent months, the impact tends to be lower on the fetus. That is, in the first three months of pregnancy, fetal tissues are very immature and any viral interference causes more intense commitment than cause tissue already formed. 

These changes occur because the rubella virus crosses the placenta and fetal tissues is installed. In general, rubella virus is prevalent in tissues of the nervous system and cardiac tissues, but can also cause bone disorders. The fontanelle or soft spot of the child, which should close in time, remains open and may remain also open the ducts of the heart. As the eyes are nothing more than extensions brain - are actually part of the brain that captures the image because the other is covered by the skull - this predilection for nervous tissue can cause cataracts, blindness and microphthalmia. This involvement of the brain can also cause mental retardation.

The microphthalmia is a type of malformation of the eyes, which do not grow. Eyeballs are undeveloped do not meet the eye fossa. Today, there are already techniques for the presence of rubella virus in the bloodstream or in the amniotic fluid, which allows the doctor to identify the infection and for damage installed able to derail or compromising the child's quality of life. Ideally, all women who want to become pregnant do blood test to know if you are immunized against rubella. This exam is part of prenuptial examinations list that are not always made ​​before the start of sexual life. Therefore, all women who wish to become pregnant should make serologic testing to know how is your immunity to rubella. If it is proven that they are not immune, need to take the vaccine, which is extremely effective - effective vaccine is close to 100% - and prevent congenital rubella syndrome. 

If the blood test shows that there are protective antibodies against disease, this woman does not need to take the vaccine, because it has been vaccinated or has come into contact with the virus in the past and is immunized. Otherwise, vaccination is mandatory. Remember that the rubella vaccine is made with live virus, although attenuated in their ability to produce disease. Therefore, a woman can not be pregnant at the time of taking this vaccine because the virus can cause fetal harm. It is also important to know that once vaccinated, the ideal is that women wait four weeks to get pregnant.

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