Mumbai is currently witnessing an outbreak of measles. Between September and October, a total of 84 cases of measles have been reported in the city.

 

What is measles?

  • Measles or as it is called ‘khasra’, is a highly contagious viral disease which affects mostly children. It is one of the leading causes of death and disability among young children. There is no specific treatment for measles but there is a vaccine to stay protected from the disease, which is both safe as well as cost effective.
  • Measles spreads by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. So, isolation of these infected children is essential.
  • The condition of an infected child turns severe in cases of poor nourishment, Vitamin A deficiency and if the child is immunocompromised.

 

How long can an infected patient spread measles?

As per reports, an infected child with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.

 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. The main symptoms are fever, dry cough, running nose, sore throat and rash.

 

Vaccine

  • The WHO recommends immunisation for all children with two doses of measles vaccine, either alone, or in a measles-rubella (MR) or measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) combination.
  • As per the guidance of National Health Mission, in India, measles vaccination is given under the Universal Immunisation Programme at 9-12 months of age and the second dose at 16-24 months of age.