What is measles?

Measles is an infection that merely affects children but can occur at any age.The illness is unpleasant but most children fully recover. However some children develop serious complications e. g deafness and blindness eye infection, e.t.c.

 Mode transmission of measles

  1. Measles is spread by contact with nose and throat secretions of infected people and in airborne droplets released when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
  2. Transmission by airborne droplets can occur even two hours after an infected person has left a room or other closed area.
  3. An infected person can infect others a few days before and for several days after he/she develops symptoms.
  4. The disease spreads easily wherever infants and children gather together.

 The causative organism of measles

Measles is caused by the measles virus and is highly infectious, i.e. very easily spread, it is constantly present in some population and often occur in epidemic proportion, in condition of crowding and poverty where large numbers of non-immunized people are in close contact, the stage is set for measles epidemic and it kills more children than any other of the E.P.I (Expanded Programme on Immunization) target diseases.

 Prevention of measles

The prevention of measles involves immunization with measles vaccines. Children aged less than 12 month, if not immunized, are the most likely to acquire measles infection. Therefore all children should:

  1. Receive one dose at nine months or before the age of 1 year.
  2. Be immunized against measles on admission to hospital because of the danger of infection.
  3. Be isolated for at least four days after the skin rash appears if admitted to hospital with measles.
  4. Be isolated for the duration of the illness if they are also malnourished.
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