Summary of Study Session 4
In Study Session 4, you have learned that:
- Measles, polio and hepatitis B are viral vaccine-preventable diseases; most infants and children are protected from these infections in Ethiopia and most other countries by routine vaccinations.
- Measles virus is easily transmitted from person to person by the respiratory route. Typical symptoms include fever, cough, running nose, red eyes, diarrhoea and a widespread rash. Severe measles may lead to complications such as ear infections, loss of eyesight and pneumonia.
- Vitamin A should be given to children with measles to prevent damage to the eyes, which may lead to blindness.
- Poliomyelitis (caused by poliovirus) is transmitted from person to person through the faeco-oral route. Most children with polio infection do not show symptoms, but a few may develop acute flaccid paralysis (AFP).
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has several routes of transmission, such as contact with infected blood or other body fluids, through wounds, from mother to child at birth, or during unprotected sexual intercourse.
- People with hepatitis B present with fever, weakness and jaundice. Children infected with HBV may become chronic carriers; long-term complications such as permanent liver damage or liver cancer can develop in later life.
- Cases of measles, AFP and hepatitis should be actively searched in the community and reported to the District Health Office. Diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory isolation of the viruses.
- Patients with severe complications of measles, AFP or signs of hepatitis, should be referred to the nearest health centre.
- There is no curative treatment for measles, polio or hepatitis B disease. Supportive treatment for reduction of symptoms of measles and hepatitis includes maintaining intake of nutrients and fluids. Exercise therapy may help to improve mobility in people with AFP.