Extraordinary Events of Measles Occur in Most Children Who Are Not Immunized

Jakarta – As of today, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemenkes RI) has reported Extraordinary Events (KLB) of measles in 12 provinces, Sunday (29/1/2023).

An outbreak is defined as an area where there are at least two cases of measles confirmed by positive measles antibody serology and are related to epidemiology.

Launching from the University of Indonesia (UI) website, this established measles is related to the complete basic immunization coverage for babies which has dropped dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This explanation was explained by a Pediatrician, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia—Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (FKUI—RSCM), dr. Mulya Rahma Karyanti, Sp.A(K), M.Sc., KLB, which was released on the University of Indonesia (UI) website, Thursday (26/1/2023).

“This is due to parents’ concerns about bringing their children to health facilities for fear of contracting Covid-19. In addition, several health facilities providing vaccination services were also restricted in their activities at the beginning of the pandemic,” said dr. Worker.

To be able to break the chain of transmission of measles, dr. Karyanti who is also a Member of the National Verification Expert Committee on Measles Elimination and Rubella Control/Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) added that immunization coverage of at least 95% is required.

Previously, according to data from the Indonesian Ministry of Health (2022), in 2020 and 2021 the coverage of complete basic immunization for children only reached 84%.

The data shows that extraordinary cases of measles have occurred in children, most of whom have never been immunized.

“Immunization with the measles vaccine is the best way to prevent measles. High immunization coverage not only protects individuals who get the vaccine, but can also protect people around them so that hard-immunity is formed,” dr. Worker.

Furthermore, “Measles immunization is part of the government’s immunization program using the measles rubella (MR) vaccine which can be given to children starting at 9 months of age,” he said

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“In someone who has never received a measles vaccination and is then exposed to measles, administering the measles vaccine within 72 hours after exposure can prevent measles from occurring,” said this doctor.

further dr. Karyanti conveyed that measles was most often found in infants under one year of age, adolescents and adults who had not received adequate measles immunization.

In addition, someone who has an impaired immune system (immunocompromised) due to a chronic disease or treatment that suppresses the immune system (long-term steroids, chemotherapy, or immunoglobulin) will also be susceptible to measles.

“Measles transmission occurs through airborne or air from someone who has measles from four days before symptoms to four days after the appearance of the rash,” said dr. Worker

Furthermore, he said, “A person can experience measles because they have not been protected by antibodies against measles that can be obtained from immunization.”

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