What is Measles?

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What is Measles? Blog Image


According to a report by the World Health Organization and US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an estimated 11 lakh children in India missed their crucial first dose of measles vaccine in 2022.

About Measles

  • It is a highly contagious and serious airborne disease.
  • It is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family, and is normally passed through direct contact and the air.
  • The virus infects the respiratory tract, then spreads throughout the body, causing severe disease, complications and even death.
  • Symptoms
    • The first sign of measles is usually high fever, beginning about 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and lasting four to seven days.
    • A runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage.
    • A rash erupts after several days, usually on the face and upper neck. The rash spreads over about three days, eventually reaching the hands and feet, and lasts five to six days before fading. 
  • Any non-immune person (not vaccinated or vaccinated but did not develop immunity) can become infected.
  • Unvaccinated young children and pregnant persons are at highest risk of severe measles complications.
  • Treatment: No specific antiviral treatment exists for measles.

Q1) What are Paramyxoviruses?

Paramyxoviruses are a family of viruses that includes several well-known pathogens affecting both humans and animals. These viruses are responsible for a range of diseases, from relatively mild infections like mumps and human parainfluenza viruses to more severe illnesses like measles, Nipah virus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Source: 11 lakh children in India missed the first measles shot in 2022: Report