LAHORE - We have been hearing and reading a lot about measles but there is still some vital information that laypersons need to have to protect the kids from the monster.

The long hot summer is draining strength from the body, dehydration, a busy life and no care for proper food intake further weakens our body and our immune system. The most important factor in the deaths of the hundred and twenty children was malnutrition; these children belonged to poor families who could not provide them with the vaccination on time or proper food.

Our expert on the topic Dr Shahid Hussain Sheikh when asked about what was being done said, “On a professional level it seems that nothing has been done to curtail ‘Measles’ other than just following the WHO’s written protocol to save the patient's life. No interventional or prophylactic treatment is offered, except vaccination. Even vaccinated patients, in this high heat are prone to develop the disease and its symptoms. Some common precautionary measures in general viral exposure protection must be given as a guideline to the patients and their families to protect non exposed children”.

He added that following the WHO guidelines on every epidemic is not going to help us save lives. The government and private physician, all have to play a role of interventionist. We all have to be more vigilant of the patient's ailment and swiftly respond to remedy the developing symptoms. The loss of life in both the Dengue Virus and Measles virus has been due to the conventional WHO protocol. Intervention in the viral proliferation and stability of the nervous system has been ignored to date, falsely relying on the patient's immunity to revive itself to combat the disease. He said that he had started the program where they played an interventionist role in the Dengue Viral Epidemic which resulted in the ‘Zero Mortality,’ treating 1,298 patients at the UCH.

Now the same methodology is being applied to measles. Most children, after being exposed to the virus have to deal with the internal fight, a fight between their feeble immunity and the measles virus. When the immunity looses the battle, the exposure turns into an infection, raising body temperature and breakout on the skin. Only antipyretics are given to reduce the temperature and may be some vitamins with a lot of fluids. At this time the child's bare minimum immunity level, still at work to fight the proliferating disease, is very low and needs help to fight against the virus. Some children win and other loose the battle of life. As an interventionist, we have to help the child enhance the immunity to retard the viral proliferation. This is the missing link; this is why the children are dying because they are not provided extra help to fight the virus.

Most of the children who died were from poor families and malnourished, which made it difficult for the child to fight the virus. Awareness and self education about this virus and its functions is very important. To avoid getting measles one should stay in a cool place, avoid dehydration, and maintain personal hygiene and avoid heat exposure.

The coming monsoon rains will wreck havoc in the cities and rural areas and enhance the spread of this epidemic. The government needs to take quick steps to avoid standing water and loss of lives by the spreading diseases by planning ahead. Though vaccination is usually enough for at least 3 to 5 years, booster shots must be given, but general viral exposure guidelines must be instituted as a mass media campaign for public awareness.