Measles Immunization Day: Everything You Need to Know


Measles Immunization Day: Everything You Need to Know

High fever, rashes, red, watery eyes; did all these symptoms ring a bell in your head? Yes, we are talking about measles, a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus that results in a full-body rash. It is likely to spreads through the air from person to person and is especially dangerous for children and babies. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 110,000 global deaths from measles in 2017 in children under five. Each person who comes into contact with measles can infect up to ten others. Measles vaccination resulted in a 73% reduction in measles deaths worldwide between 2000 and 2018. On March 16th, Measles Immunization Day is observed to make people aware of this fatal disease and the importance of the measles vaccine in fighting the disease.

Cause and Symptoms of Measles

The virus causing measles is a single-stranded, enveloped RNA virus with one serotype. It belongs to the Morbillivirus genus, part of the Paramyxoviridae family. The human body is the only natural host of the measles virus. After being infected, it can take six to 21 days to develop symptoms of measles. This is the period of incubation. 

Here are the major symptoms of this contagious disease:

  • High fever
  • Sore throat and cough
  • Running nose and white spots in the mouth
  • Tiredness and muscle pain
  • Red eyes and sensitivity to light
  • Red rashes on the body

Diagnosis of Measles

If you suspect you have measles or have been exposed to someone who has measles, see your doctor right away. Doctors can confirm measles by examining your skin rash and looking for symptoms of the disease. Later, they can assess you and point you in the right direction if you have an infection.

If your doctor suspects you have measles based on your history and observations, they will order a blood test to look for the measles virus.

Treatment for Measles

Measles has no specific treatment. Unlike bacterial infections, virus infections are not receptive to antibiotics. Symptoms of the virus usually go away in two or three weeks.

For those who have been exposed to the measles virus, there are some treatments available. These can help prevent or lessen the severity of an infection. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting plenty of rest are the best ways to speed up your recovery and avoid complications. 

  • Vaccination after exposure- If you've never had measles, you can get one up to 72 hours after being exposed to the virus. The vaccine can reduce your chances of contracting it and make your symptoms less severe if you do.
  • Immunoglobulin serum globulin- If you're pregnant, very young, or have a condition that makes your immune system weak, this protein injection can help. You must get it within six days of being exposed to the virus. The injection may either prevent measles or reduce the severity of your measles symptoms.

If you have measles and develop a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection or pneumonia, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic to treat it.

Home Remedies

You can try these comforting measures at home for a speedy recovery:

  • Take your time- Rest and avoid strenuous activities.
  • Take a drink- To replace fluids lost due to fever and sweating, drink plenty of water, fruit juice, and herbal tea.
  • Seek respiratory assistance- To relieve a cough and sore throat, use a humidifier.
  • Allow your eyes to rest- If bright light bothers you or your child, as it does many individuals with measles, turn the light low or wear sunglasses. Avoid watching television or reading if the light from a reading lamp or television bothers you.

Some Preventive Measures

If you are prone to infection:

  • Maintain proper hand hygiene. Before eating, using the restroom, and before touching your face, mouth, or nose, wash your hands.
  • Personal things like drinking glasses or towels should not be shared with people who are ill. 
  • Avoid making contact with sick people.

If you have measles:

  • Stay away from work, school, and other public areas until you are no longer contagious. This occurs four days after infection of the measles rash.
  • Avoid contact with people at risk of infection, such as infants who are too early to be vaccinated and immunocompromised.
  • Whenever you need to cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth. Discard used tissues as soon as possible.
  • Practice washing your hands regularly and sanitize any surfaces or objects you come into contact with regularly.

It is unlikely that you will contract measles more than once. After being infected with the virus, your body develops immunity to the infection. Measles is among the most contagious viruses on the planet, and it can be fatal. On the other hand, measles and its complications are preventable through vaccination. Vaccination protects you and your family, but it also prevents the measles virus from spreading in your community and impacting those who can't be immunized.

Everyone wishes to be financially secure. However, illness treatment can quickly deplete your savings with rising medical costs. Managing funds for a medical crisis can also be difficult. A health insurance policy can safeguard you from the financial burdens that a medical emergency can cause. You can create a financial safety net in a medical emergency with health insurance.

>> Also Read: Everything you need to know about Viral Fever

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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