The state government of Odisha in India has launched a Measles vaccination drive from January 29 with an aim to eradicate the deadly disease.
Health secretary Pramod Kumar Meherda announced that the five-week-long campaign would be conducted in the state of Bhubaneshwar. Children between the age group of 9 months and 15 years would be vaccinated. The government aims a 100-percent vaccination of all the children during the campaign, he said.
In the first two weeks, the programme would be held both in Government and private schools. Subsequently, it would be organized at the community level, Anganwadi Centres and health centers in next two weeks.
Doctors belonging to the Indian Association of Paediatrics have been asked to inform their patients regarding the vaccination campaign. They have also been urged to make people aware of the programme for measles and rubella virus eradication through posters at their respective hospitals and clinics. Besides, the pediatricians working at the private hospitals have been asked to participate at the State-level and district-level awareness workshops to be held by the Government.
Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease. Vaccinations have led to an 84% reduction in measles deaths from the year 2000 to 2016 all over the world. In spite of this, measles is one of the main causes of death in young children. About 114 900 individuals died from measles in 2014; these included mainly children below 5 years of age. Measles mostly affects unvaccinated children.
Symptoms of Measles
Measles, also known as morbilli or red measles is caused by a virus belonging to paramyxovirus family. Once the virus enters the body, it resides in the nasopharynx and causes symptoms. Rubella, also known as German measles or three-day measles, is an infection caused by the rubella virus. This disease is often mild with half of people not realizing that they are infected
Symptoms and signs of measles mainly appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to its virus. They are:
- High fever, which may increase to even more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, especially at the onset of the rash.
- Respiratory symptoms like a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, sore throat, dry cough.
- Eye- related symptoms like inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis), watering of eyes, swollen eyelids and increased sensitivity to light.
- Koplik's spots, which are minute grayish-white spots in the mouth on a red base. These appear and disappear before the onset of skin rash.
- General symptoms like muscle aches, loss of appetite, weakness.
- Blotchy dark red Skin rash all over the body