Recently, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) warned that London is standing at risk of a major measles outbreak.
- 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.
- 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.
- Who is at risk?
- 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.
- Criteria for Measles elimination:
- Measles elimination is defined as the absence of endemic measles virus transmission in a region or other defined geographical area for more than 12 months.
- Conversely, a country is no longer considered to be measles free if the virus returns and transmission is sustained continuously for more than a year.
- Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI):
- M&RI is a partnership formed in 2001 of the American Red Cross, CDC, the United Nations Foundation, UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO)
- It is committed to achieving the Global Vaccine Action Plan goal of measles and rubella elimination in at least five WHO regions by 2020.
Q1) What is UNICEF?
UNICEF stands for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) dedicated to promoting the rights and well-being of children worldwide. UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to provide assistance, advocate for children's rights, and support governments and communities in addressing the needs of children.