In the days in which we live, very disturbing events are taking place in Turkey. Many experts state that recently there has been a noticeable increase in the incidence of measles in the country. The latest report published by the World Health Organization states that Turkey is the country reporting the most cases of measles in Europe. Experts fear that without effective vaccination, measles could develop into a frightening epidemic. On the other hand, the recent increase in measles cases has brought a dangerous and even deadly disease to the agenda: PSPE!
The full name of this dangerous disease caused by the measles virus is “Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis”. However, it is commonly referred to as SSPE. The alarming increase in the incidence of measles in our country over the past year raises many questions about SSPE. Many citizens wonder what SSPE means, what SSPE is, what causes SSPE and what are its symptoms. Let’s look at the details together.
What is SPE?
PSPE is a very dangerous disease affecting the central nervous system caused by the measles virus. Illness due to the measles virus is defined as a persistent viral infection that progresses slowly.
SSPE occurs when the immune system develops an abnormal response to the measles virus.
The disease, which can occur in people infected with the measles virus in later years, causes inflammation, swelling, and irritation of the brain and causes quite serious neurological problems.
SSPE, an extremely rare disease, occurs in people who have not been vaccinated against the measles virus or who have not developed sufficient immunity.
The disease occurs in people who have not been vaccinated against measles or who do not have sufficient levels of antibodies within 5 to 6 years of getting measles.
PSPE usually affects people between the ages of 2 and 32.
However, it has been found that the disease is more common in people aged 5-15 years. It is known that the disease, which is more common in childhood, most often begins at the age of 7 years. However, although rare, there are cases that occur in adulthood. However, scientific studies show that the disease is more common in boys.
What causes SSPE?
Under normal circumstances, measles is not a disease that causes brain damage. However, an unusual reaction of the immune system to the measles virus causes the virus to lodge in the brain and cause severe neurological damage there. People with this disease have brain inflammation that can last for years.
What are the symptoms of SSPE?
PSPE, which usually occurs within 5 to 6 years of measles, initially presents with very mild symptoms. For this reason, many experts argue that it is very difficult to diagnose the disease in the early stages.
In the later stages of the disease, there are personality changes, poor school and work performance, impaired handwriting, difficulty performing daily activities, speech difficulties, and similar problems associated with brain damage.
At another stage of the disease, involuntary muscle movements are also common. After this stage, in which involuntary movements in the arms and legs are often observed, the disease progresses to a stage in which convulsions occur and dementia occurs.
At the last stage of the disease, it becomes impossible for a person to maintain his own life.
Because in this last stage, physical symptoms appear that seriously affect feeding, swallowing and breathing. For this reason, people who contract this disease can only survive with outside help.
Can SSPE be treated with the measles vaccine?
The short answer is, unfortunately, no. There is no known cure for this complex disease. However, the course of the disease can be slowed down with the help of various drugs. However, there are also drugs used to treat various symptoms that occur during the course of the disease. Experts say that the most effective way to prevent this dangerous disease is to get vaccinated against measles at the appropriate age.
SSPE is an extremely complex and deadly disease.
Rapidly progressive cases lead to death within 6-24 months. However, in cases where the disease progresses slowly, patients can live much longer.
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