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Measles

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Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.

Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A, or whose immune systems have been weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases. The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea and related dehydration, and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
Anyone can get measles if they haven’t been vaccinated or haven’t had it before, although it’s most common in young children.
The infection usually clears in around 7 to 10 days

Before the introduction of measles vaccine in 1963 and widespread vaccination, major epidemics occurred approximately every 2–3 years and measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.

Approximately 110 000 people died from measles in 2017 – mostly children under the age of 5 years, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.
While global measles deaths have decreased by 84 percent worldwide in recent years — from 550,100 deaths in 2000 to 89,780 in 2016 — measles is still common in many developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. An estimated 7 million people were affected by measles in 2016. The overwhelming majority (more than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.

Accelerated immunization activities have had a major impact on reducing measles deaths. During 2000– 2017, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 21.1 million deaths. Global measles deaths have decreased by 80% from an estimated 545 000 in 2000* to 110 000 in 2017.

The measles vaccine has been in use since the 1960s. It is safe, effective and inexpensive. WHO recommends immunization for all susceptible children and adults for whom measles vaccination is not contraindicated. Reaching all children with 2 doses of measles vaccine, either alone, or in a measles-rubella (MR), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) combination, should be the standard for all national immunization programmes.

Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO Regions by 2020. WHO is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination of immunization and surveillance activities supporting all countries to achieve this goal.

Measles History

Pre-vaccine Era
In the 9th century, a Persian doctor published one of the first written accounts of measles disease.
Francis Home, a Scottish physician, demonstrated in 1757 that measles is caused by an infectious agent in the blood of patients.
In 1912, measles became a nationally notifiable disease in the United States, requiring U.S. healthcare providers and laboratories to report all diagnosed cases. In the first decade of reporting, an average of 6,000 measles-related deaths were reported each year.
In the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age. It is estimated 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year. Also each year, among reported cases, an estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.

Measles Virus Classification

  • WILD-TYPE measles virus
    When an unvaccinated person gets measles, wild-type measles virus causes the infection. Scientists divide wild-type measles viruses into genetic groups called genotypes. Of 24 known genotypes, the World Health Organization (WHO) lists 5 genotypes that are known to currently circulate and are most commonly seen: B3, D4, D8, D9, and H1. MMR vaccine protects you against all types of measles.
  • How is the type of measles virus identified
    Scientists identify the genotype in a laboratory using a method called nucleic acid sequencing. The genotype is based on the RNA (ribonucleic acid) sequence of the measles virus that caused the disease in an infected person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/measles

https://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/measles/en/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/

https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/history.html

https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html

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