Measles in India

Measles is communicable viral diseases. Paramyxo virus is responsible of spreading of this disease. Mainly children are under grip of measles that result in a rash. It attacks in children of 2-years-old or younger. Cases of measles are still found in India. Statistical reports of 1995 indicate that 26,986 cases were reported at that time. Measles in Babies is one of the most common transferable diseases. It is widespread in children because it is a virus borne disease. Measles is exceedingly contagious. Measles can develop in baby during play time with another child who is not entirely recovered from measles. Measles can be transmitted in various ways. In many cases, droplets transfer the infections. Even though doctors strictly recommend the sick person to stay in isolation, the disease may still spread from room to room. Person who has not already had measles is at greater risk of this disease. Four months infants are not infected if their mother has had measles herself because they will be protected by her antibodies. The incubation period that is the time between infection and the eruption of the condition is usually one to two weeks. Patients of this disease are infectious from four days before the inception of the rash until five days after it appears.

In developing countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, it is predictable that 67 million cases of measles are reported every year and 1.5 million deaths occur. When a child or adult in infected with measles, he has develop complication like diarrhea and bron chopneumonia and continues to have high degree of morbidity and mortality. Measles related pneumonia is reported in some cases. Records indicate that measles vaccine was introduced to India's national immunization program in 1985-86 and reported coverage levels reached 88% by 1993-94. Annual frequency of measles cases are dropped by 59%, from 160,216 in 1985 to 65,077 in 1993. The policies planned to raise immunization coverage are removal of missed opportunities for immunization, recognition and immunization of all eligible children in high-risk areas and groups, adoption of a two-dose policy, and mass campaigns that target all children in a particular age group regardless of previous immunization or disease history. Measles campaigns at large scale with pulse-polio campaigns are suggested for over populated cities. Observation should be strengthened to spot any remaining cases so that program resources can be directed toward these areas. According to health plan, children should be screened and immunized. Monitoring and evaluation are required to provide information for future immunization policies.

When measles occur in babies, they exhibit symptoms like cough, conjunctivitis along with high fever. Babies experience cold and red rash are visible in whole body when affected by measles virus. The red rashes remain for around 5 days. Scar marks are left in the body after the rashes disappear. It takes a long time for the recovery and healing of the rash marks. Babies also suffer from Respiratory problem when measles virus attacks. The disease starts with high fever and appearance of rash in mouth. Earache is also a common symptom of measles in babies. It is advised to report to doctor immediately when person notice such symptoms in baby. Doctor can generally diagnose measles based on the disease's characteristic rash as well as the small, bright red spots with bluish-white centers on the inside lining of the cheek, called Koplik's spots.

The duration of measles is about 10 to 14 days. The disease is severe or fatal in many region of the world. When measles occur, it shows many complications. The ear infection may happen in person who is infected with this viral disease. It causes an ear infection in nearly one out of every 10 children. Encephalitis is also seen in many cases. Data shows that about one in 1,000 people with measles have encephalitis which is an inflammation of the brain due to a viral infection. It shows symptoms like vomiting, convulsions and, rarely, coma. Encephalitis can happen after years during adolescence as a result of a slow virus infection. Patient with measles may be prone to Pneumonia. One in 15 with measles gets pneumonia, which can be critical. In some cases, bronchitis also occurs. Measles may lead to swelling of voice box that is called larynx or their may be inflammation of the inner walls that line the main air passageways of lungs (bronchial tubes). If women are pregnant, they have to take special care to avoid measles, because the disease can cause miscarriage, premature labor or babies with low birth weights. Measles virus may reduce the platelet count. These are the type of blood cells that are essential for blood clotting.

Babies infected with measles can be completely recovered. Doctors always advised to take bed rest for speedy recovery. Antibiotics are generally not recommended for children. Doctors prescribe some pain killer to reduce fever and pain. Measles patient must be kept in isolation as it is a line of treatment. Isolation is necessary because it is contagious disease. Patient with measles can not return to normal activities and stay with people which they interact normally during this period. Another important factor is that nonimmunized people whether guest or family members should not stay in infected person's house.

Preventive measures are helpful in controlling measles. There is a vaccine for this disease. For prevention of measles, one injection of the vaccine should be given to a 15-month-old baby along with a Mumps and Rubella component. There is vaccination offered to prevent measles in babies. The MMR dose of vaccination is suggested for every child. The dose is to be administered within 15 months age of the child. The booster dose is then given at 4 to 6 years of age. This immunization once given will shield child from measles, mumps and rubella for the life long. It is always better to consult doctor for the immunization information before administering the dose. Doctors do not recommend MMR immunization for babies who are allergic to gelatin or neomycin antibiotic. Immunoglobulin injection can also prevent development of measles in baby. Babies, who are in the age group of 6 to 8 months, have normal immunity acquired from their mother so they are naturally protected from measles. It is important to gather information when a woman is planning a pregnancy. They have to be vaccinated for measles unless she has had the disease in the past. If these factors are ignored during pregnancy and measles occurs during a pregnancy, it can transmit an infection to the unborn child and there are chances of the death of the baby. If there is any confusion, she must immediately consult general practitioner to get the MMR vaccine. Note that this vaccine cannot be given during pregnancy. People do not require to be vaccinated if they had two doses of the MMR vaccine after 12 months of age or one dose of the MMR vaccine plus a second dose of measles vaccine, have blood tests that prove you're immune to measles, mumps and rubella, are a man who was born before 1957, are a woman who was born before 1957 and you don't plan to have any more children.

It is observed in most cases that there are no side effects from the vaccine. About 10 percent of people may have fever between five and 12 days after the vaccination, and about 5 percent of people develop a mild rash. Medical reports indicate that less than one out of a million doses causes a severe allergic reaction.

Patient with measles have to follow some instructions and change their lifestyle accordingly. If people have measles, they must be in touch with doctor and monitor the progress of the disease, and watch for complications. They have to live in peaceful way. Take it easy because any type of stress or mental exertion may deteriorate the condition. Always take rest and avoid busy activities. Drink something in short intervals and have plenty of water, fruit juice and herbal tea to meet out the requirement of fluids lost by fever and sweating. There are problems of respiration so seek respiratory relief. It is recommended to use a humidifier to alleviate cough and sore throat. Patient should give rest to eyes. If bright lights are troublesome, keep the lights low or wear sunglasses. Doctors always advised to avoid reading or watching television if light from a reading lamp or from the television is worrisome.

The government is also taking important steps to control this disease. The Union government is involved in an immunization campaign parallel to pulse polio program to administer a booster dose of measles vaccine. It is to inform all people that the measles vaccines are provided free of cost to children in state hospitals. The measles vaccine project survey was being supported by the World Health origination and the Central government. The close watch of measles had been added to the pulse polio program and hospitals are being monitored for infections.

Note: This information is just for knowledge of disease. If such type of medical condition develops, consult your doctor.

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