Measles Immunization Day- “Protecting Children Through Measles Vaccination: Our Priority.”

Within the domain of various infectious diseases, there is also a silent invader that sneaks in the shadows, spreading and affecting millions of individuals worldwide. It hits suddenly and violently, leaving carnage in its wake. High fever, cough, runny nose, rashes, and watery eyes; do all of these symptoms sound familiar? Yes, we are talking about the highly contagious measles virus, which may seriously harm a person’s health and general well-being.

Welcome to today’s blog. Let us take you on a tour around the measles virus on this grateful measles immunization day. Yes, you heard it right! There is a way to prevent the deadly monster Measles through immunization. Even in the darkness, there is hope. We can defend our communities from fatal measles by vaccinating, raising awareness, and educating ourselves about the disease. Let us understand the importance of vaccination, preventive measures, and what we can do as a community to impact a large population regarding the deadly virus.

Measles Immunization Day:Importance And Theme

Before the measles vaccine was developed in 1963 and became widely used, there had been estimated to be 2.6 million annual deaths from large epidemics that happened around every two to three years.

Despite the availability of a reliable and affordable vaccination, a projected 128,000 persons died from measles in 2021, the majority of whom were children under the age of five. This shows the progression we have made throughout the years in averting the death rate of the deadly virus. Yet, we have to leave no stone unturned in the tedious journey to boost vaccination rates and offer a better place for our children.

Measles vaccination dramatically lowers the risk of contracting the illness and its aftereffects, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death. Reaching marginalized and underprivileged communities that might not have easy access to healthcare or experience obstacles to immunization is a top priority on Measles Immunization Day.

March 16 is observed as measles vaccination day to raise public awareness of this terrible illness and the value of measles vaccination in preventing it. The Theme of Measles Immunization Day 2024 is “Protecting Children Through Measles Vaccination: Our Priority.”

 

Causes Of Measles Virus

The highly contagious measles virus, which belongs to the class of the Paramyxoviridae family of viruses, is what causes the disease. Respiratory droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze are the main way the virus measles is spread. Direct contact with an infected person’s nasal or throat secretions can transfer it.

Symptoms Of Measles Virus Infection

  1. Fever and cough: You may experience a high fever of 101°F with persistent coughs.
  2. Red, watery eyes: You will develop conjunctivitis, where the virus affects the membrane covering the eye and causes redness, irritation, and more tear production.
  3. Rash: You may develop a rash 2-4 days after the fever starts. Usually, it begins on the face and moves down to the trunk and limbs.
  4. Koplik’s spots: These are little white spots that develop inside the mouth, specifically on the mucous membranes lining the cheeks, before the rash does. Although they might not always be visible, these patches signify measles.

Vaccination Programs to Protect Yourself

Note down the insights to protect yourself against the deadly virus. An effective way for you to get vaccinated is to get a vaccination dose. The measles vaccine is typically administered as part of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine or the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine. The MMR vaccine is advised by the CDC to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella.

It is the duty of parents to safeguard their kids. Make a note of the dosing schedule of vaccination. The Universal Immunization Program (UIP) in India includes the measles vaccination as part of its goal to offer free vaccination services to all children in the nation. The Indian academy of pediatrics recommends three doses of the measles vaccine are given at the following ages:

 

  • First dose: Given at nine months of age
  • Second dose: Given at 15 months of age
  • Third dose: Given at 4-6 years of age

A booster dose of the measles vaccine may be advised in some situations, especially in circumstances where there are outbreaks or for those who are more likely to get the illness. Age, past vaccination history, and exposure risk are among the factors that decide whether a booster dose is necessary.

The prevention of the measles virus is greatly improved by the administration of vaccines. We can conclude that a single vaccination dose offers roughly 93% protection against measles, whereas two doses offer roughly 97% protection. It is worth noting that people who received vaccinations have reduced chances of contracting the virus and, in the event that they do, are more likely to experience milder symptoms and fewer problems.

 

Things To Do If You Encounter a Measles Infection

 

  • Measles is highly contagious, so you should stay away from others and isolate yourself. Do Not have close contact with unvaccinated, pregnant women, kids, and people with weakened immune systems.
  • To stop measles-causing respiratory droplets from spreading, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Drinking plenty of water will help you manage fever, dehydration, and other side effects of the infection.
  • You should contact your healthcare provider and get advice regarding your condition and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Myths and Facts

Myth: Since measles is a mild sickness affecting children, immunization is not required.

Fact: Measles can result in life-threatening consequences such as pneumonia, encephalitis (brain inflammation), ear infections, and even death, especially in young children, expectant mothers, and those with compromised immune systems. Vaccination is essential to avoid contracting measles and its possible dangerous effects.

 

Myth: Measles vaccination can cause autism.

Fact: Extensive scientific research has debunked the myth linking measles vaccination to autism. Multiple large-scale studies involving millions of children have found no evidence of a causal relationship between measles vaccination and autism.

Myth: If a person has previously contracted measles, there is no need to get vaccinated.

Fact: Immunity to the measles can develop spontaneously, although immunity’s duration and potency can differ. Even those who have already contracted measles should get vaccinated to promote herd immunity and long-term protection against recurrence.

Conclusion

Measles Immunization Day is not just a day of action; it is a rallying cry for unity in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases. Let us all pledge our support, spread awareness, implement an effective vaccination among our communities, and promote global health outcomes.

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