Measles is a communicable disease best known for causing rash in childhood which affects other part of the body through the respiratory tracts and sometimes occurs in adults.It is a highly contagious respiratory illness.It is an acute viral childhood infection which is prevalent in developing countries.Over 25% of children in developing countries die annually from measles.People infected can spread the disease to others before the rash appears and up to 4 days after the rash.

                            KEY FACTS ON MEASLES
-Measles is one the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost vaccine is available.

-In 2015,there were 134,200 measles death globally,about 367 deaths everyday or 15 deaths every hour.

-Measles vaccination resulted in 79% drop in measles death between 2000 and 2015 worldwide.Also in 2016,about 85% o the world's children received one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday through routine health service.

                                 TYPES OF MEASLES
      There are two types of measles,each caused  by a different virus.Although both produces a rash and fever.They include;

1.The rubeola virus(Red  measles).

2.The rubella virus(German measles).

-THE RUBEOLA VIRUS:One can recover from it without any problem,the rubeola known as hard measles can lead to pneumonia or inflammation of the brain(encephalitis)

-THE RUBELLA VIRUS:This is usually milder than red measles.However,this virus can cause significant birth defects if an infected pregnant woman passes the virus to her unborn child.

                      CAUSES/MODE OF TRANSMISSION
       Both the rubeola and rubella viruses are spread through the respiratory route.This makes them highly contagious through sneezing,coughing,close personal contact and direct contact with infected nasal.
       As a result,it can spread rapidly in susceptible population because the virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to two hours,it can be transmitted by an infected persons from 4 days prior to the onset of the rash to 4 days after the rash erupts.

            Symptoms appears about 10-14 days after a person is infected with the rubeola virus,this is called the incubation period.During this period the virus continues to multiply,the early phase begins with these symptoms;



-Run-down feeling.

-Red eyes.

-Loss of appetite.
      The red measles rash develops from 2-4 days later

-Dry hacking cough.


-Generalized body aches.


-People with measles may develop small grayish spots on the inside of the cheek called "koplik spots"

-The rash usually starts on the face,spreading to the trunk and then to the arms and legs.

-The rash is usually not itchy but as it  clears up,the skin may shred.

Rubella(German measles)
    German measles causes milder symptoms than red measles.The incubation period between getting the virus and getting sick is 10 days to 2 weeks.Some of symptoms are:


-Low grade fever.


-Red eyes for several days.
      The symptoms are more pronounced in adult than children.

-Tender lymph may occur in the back and neck.

-The rash does not usually itch,but as it clears up the skin may shred.

-Adult women may experience pains in joints

 Though there is no cure for measles but there are steps that can make the disease more tolerable.These include the following:

-Patient should get enough rest.

-Sponge bath with lukewarm water may reduce discomfort due to fever.

-Ensure the patient is given enough fluids to avoid dehydration.

-A humidifer or vaporizer may help ease the cough.

-All children in developing countries diagnosed with measles should receive 2 doses of vitamin A supplements  given 24 hours apart.

-Ensure the child is being immunize against measles as the vaccine is made available for all.It cost approximately $1 to immunize a child.

-Two doses of the vaccine are recommended to ensure immunity and prevent outbreaks.



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