Person-to-Person Bacterial and Viral Diseases - MMR and Variella-Zoster infections

5 important questions on Person-to-Person Bacterial and Viral Diseases - MMR and Variella-Zoster infections

What are the characteristics of measles and how does the measles virus spread? Discuss the global impact of measles and the role of vaccination.

Measles is an acute, highly infectious disease caused by the paramyxovirus. The virus spreads through airborne transmission, leading to systemic viremia. Despite a significant reduction in cases since the introduction of the vaccine in 1963, recent global increases are attributed to factors like the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The MMR vaccine is highly effective and confers lifelong immunity.

Explain the symptoms and complications of rubella. Why is rubella vaccination crucial during pregnancy, and what is the goal of global rubella eradication efforts?

Rubella symptoms resemble those of measles, often restricted to the upper torso. Rubella during pregnancy can lead to congenital rubella syndrome, causing serious fetal abnormalities. Routine childhood immunization and the MMR vaccine, containing an attenuated rubella virus, aim to eliminate rubella globally, following the success in the Western Hemisphere.

Discuss the characteristics of mumps, its transmission, and the immune response to mumps virus. Why did mumps outbreaks occur in the United States in recent years?

Mumps, caused by a paramyxovirus, is highly infectious through airborne droplets. The immune response produces antibodies to mumps virus surface proteins, leading to recovery and lifelong immunity. Outbreaks in the United States in 2006, 2016, and 2017 affected mainly young adults, prompting revised immunization recommendations.
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Describe the transmission and symptoms of chickenpox. How has the introduction of the varicella vaccine impacted the prevalence of the disease globally?

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and is transmitted through infectious droplets. The varicella vaccine, introduced in the United States in the 1970s, has contributed to a significant reduction in chickenpox cases worldwide. The vaccine prevents severe symptoms and complications associated with the disease.

Explain the varicella-zoster virus's lifelong infection and the development of shingles. Discuss the available vaccines for preventing shingles and their effectiveness.

  1. VZV establishes a lifelong latent infection in nerve cells, potentially causing shingles later in life. Shingles vaccines, including Zostavax® and Shingrix®, stimulate immunity to prevent the virus from migrating to the skin surface. Shingrix® is reported to be nearly 90% effective in preventing shingles and is recommended by health authorities.

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