Measles is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system of the body. Measles is a highly communicable disease and caused by the rubeola virus. This disease is more common among children. Measles cannot be cured, but can be easily prevented by a vaccine. Anyone can get measles if they come in contact with an infected person. The infection remains active for at least 4 days. Due to rubeola infection, red and itchy rashes appear all over the skin which generally lasts up to seven days. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), measles is the leading cause of death among children.
Complications associated with measles
Symptoms of measles
The infection enters the body and multiplies itself inside the throat, lungs, and lymphatic system, and later on may infect nervous system, urinary tract, eyes, and blood vessels. The symptoms of measles usually appear within the 14 days of exposure. Some common symptoms of measles may include:
If measles is left untreated it may lead to pneumonia
, inflammation in the brain, and even sudden death. Some other complications related with measles are:
Treatment of measles
There are no prescribed medicines for the treatment of measles
. The virus itself disappears in a few weeks. However, a doctor may give some medicines to ease patient from the symptoms of measles. Vitamin A
supplements and acetaminophen
are prescribed to reduce muscle soreness, steam intake and plenty of fluid intakes can help in the treatment of measles.
Prevention of measles
Measles Immunisation Day
- The best way to prevent measles is get a MMR (Mumps, Measles, Rubeola) vaccine. This vaccine is given to children two times: when they are between 12 to 15 months of age and the second time when they are 4-6 years old.
- Moreover, if anyone you know has measles, limit your interaction with them and tell them not to go out until the infection is completely treated.
Measles Immunisation Day is observed on 16th March every year. The main purpose behind this day is to make people aware about this highly contagious disease by informing them about measures to prevent and treat measles and encouraging parents to get vaccination for their babies. MMR vaccine
is not only safe, but also cost effective and the only method to prevent measles infection. There has been a 79% drop in the deaths due to measles vaccine and it has saved more than 17 million lives in last 15 years in India.