Cause for Alarm: The Resurgence of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Diseases (MMR)


This week, we take a deep dive into the most asked-about diseases from last week’s edition – MMR.


The MMR disease, also known as Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, is a combined term encompassing three distinct viral infections that are highly contagious, each with its own symptoms and severe complications that can lead to death.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics report, between 2000 and 2021, measles vaccination played a pivotal role in preserving the lives of 56 million individuals. However, despite the existence of a safe and affordable vaccine, 2021 witnessed a distressing figure of approximately 128,000 measles-related fatalities worldwide, predominantly among children under the age of 5 who were either unvaccinated or insufficiently vaccinated. In 2022, only 83% of children worldwide received their initial measles vaccine dose by the age of one, marking the lowest vaccination rate since 2008.


In The News: Is MMR trying to make a comeback?

In London, parents are being issued a 21-day isolation notice if their children’s measles vaccinations are not up-to-date. The UK Health Security Agency has raised concerns about the potential for tens of thousands of cases, and is urging more people to get the MMR vaccine to prevent a major outbreak.


You need not worry because the MMR vaccination can provide protection for both you and your child.


Measles is an extremely contagious disease caused by a virus that can result in complications such as brain injury, pneumonia, and even death. Symptoms include fever, rash, runny nose, cough, and red or watery eyes. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes and can remain active in the air for up to 2 hours, making it highly infectious.


Mumps, also caused by a virus, leads to symptoms like fever, headache, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Swollen cheeks or a swollen jawline, known as parotitis, is a characteristic sign of the disease. It also spreads through respiratory droplets from an infected person and can result in complications such as testicular inflammation in males and ovarian inflammation in females, which, although rare, can be serious.


Rubella, often called German measles causes symptoms like fever, a sore throat, rash, and itchy eyes. It primarily affects children, and they usually recover quickly with no lasting effects. However, it poses a significant risk to pregnant women if they become infected, potentially causing birth defects like deafness, blindness, heart defects, or intellectual disabilities.


The most effective way to prevent these diseases is through vaccination. The MMR vaccine is both safe and efficient in preventing Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, along with their associated complications. This vaccine has substantially lowered the occurrence of these diseases, underscoring the crucial role of immunization in safeguarding public health.”


Get vaccinated against MMR disease today!



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Dr. Emmanuel Egbroko


Dr. Emmanuel Egbroko is a Clinician with over 10 years experience in the infectious disease space. He specializes in the field of infectious diseases, vaccinology, and immunology. He leads the vaccine unit at the Inocul8 Medvacc Family Immunization Clinic, Lagos State, Nigeria.

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