Measles Immunization Day: Everything You Need to Know


Measles Immunization Day: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know? As per the World Health Organization,  India has vaccinated 348 million children between 2017 and March 2023 with the rubella vaccine for measles. After the vaccination, Measles cases in India reportedly dropped by 62% between 2017 and 2021. 

It is a bigger achievement than it seems, as more than 6000 deaths were reported each year due to measles within the first decade of the existence of the disease.

Rashes, red eyes, runny nose and high fever are a few symptoms of this contagious airborne infection. Measles is a viral respiratory tract infection that one may encounter while breathing in infected air, and then the virus spreads throughout the body. While people of all ages may get infected by the disease, it gets lethal for young children and toddlers. 

While the invention of vaccination has controlled the outbreak of the disease, awareness about measles still needs to be spread to combat the issue.

To spread this awareness, we celebrate the Measles Immunization Day every year on 16th March. On this day, we spread awareness about Measles, the effects that it may cause and the importance of the vaccine that should be taken. 

Read along as we address the symptoms of Measles and ways to prevent it in the long run. First, let us discuss the causes and symptoms of Measles.

Causes 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 entering the body, the virus takes six to 21 days to develop symptoms of measles. 

Here are the 6 major symptoms of Measles:

  • 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:

You should see your doctor immediately if you suspect contact with an infected person or environment. Your doctor can confirm measles by examining the skin rash and looking for disease symptoms. Later, they can assess you and prescribe a treatment if you have an infection.

Your doctor shall ask you to undergo blood diagnostics if they suspect a measles infection.

Treatment for Measles

The symptoms of Measles may last up to two to three weeks. Unlike bacterial infections, viral infections such as Measles are also not receptive to antibiotics and, thus, do not have a cure.

Nevertheless, drinking plenty of fluids and getting plenty of rest are the best ways to speed up your recovery and avoid complications.  Additionally, here are a few treatments for Measles:

  • If you've never had a measles infection, you may get one within up to 72 hours of being exposed to the virus. However, getting vaccinated can reduce your chances of contracting it and make your symptoms less severe if you do.
  • If you're pregnant, very young, or have a condition that weakens your immune system, an Immunoglobulin serum globulin 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 measles symptoms.

Your doctor may recommend an antibiotic if you have measles and develop a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection or pneumonia. 

Home Remedies

You can try these home remedies to treat measles symptoms:

  • 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 for 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 hygiene. Wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, or before touching your face, mouth, or nose.
  • Personal things like drinking glasses or towels should not be shared with people who are i
  • Avoid making physical 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 sanitise any surfaces or objects you encounter regularly.

You will unlikely contract measles more than once in your lifetime. After being infected with the virus, your body develops immunity. 

Final Words

Measles is among the most contagious viruses on the planet, and it can be fatal. The good news is that the complications are preventable through vaccination. Vaccination protects you and your family from being infected. Additionally, vaccination prevents the virus from spreading in your community and impacts those who can't be immunised.

While we are on the verge of combatting Measles, the day when measles will be long gone from the community is still distant. The worsened measles cases may also lead to pneumonia and/or encephalitis, which may require special attention at the hospital. Thus, to ensure that such conditions do not derail your budget, you should protect yourself and your family with a health insurance plan.

Family health policy will ensure financial coverage if an insured individual is hospitalised due to a measles infection. Hence, plan ahead of healthcare worries by insuring your family with health insurance today.

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

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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