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Measles Outbreak Alert: Key Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

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Measles Outbreak: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

Measles outbreaks have been a source of worry for many worldwide recently, as it is a highly contagious disease that causes fever, coughing, runny nose, and a distinctive rash, among other symptoms. Its cases must be identified quickly and treated appropriately in order to lessen the disease’s effects on affected individuals and communities. If not caught in time, the extremely contagious viral infection known as measles can spread quickly and affect many, especially those under the age of five.

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Preliminary statistics on measles outbreaks released to the World Health Organization (WHO) in early February 2024 showed that India was placed fourth out of all the countries. The figures are quite challenging, from July to December of 2023, 12,301 instances were reported from India. Here, we’ll be highlighting the importance of measles symptoms, addressing outbreaks, and exploring treatment options.

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What is Measles?

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that can affect people of any age, but it primarily affects children under five years of age. In this condition, the body feels hot, and rashes will also appear, consisting of flat red dots that may mix together, begin on the face and subsequently move to other parts of the body.

Measles can be life-threatening for the unvaccinated individual and can cause conditions such as pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and can even cause death in rare cases. Additionally, Immunization campaigns are crucial for preserving public health since vaccination is still the most reliable means of preventing measles and its potentially fatal effects.

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Measles Symptoms

Watch out for these warning symptoms if you suspect you may have measles.

  • Cough and Runny Nose: In the beginning, symptoms such as a persistent cough and runny nose may mimic those of a cold.
  • Fever: Measles frequently results in a high temperature that can reach 104°F or higher. It is an early sign, having a span of 3 to 5 days.
  • Rash: The measles rash is easily identifiable, with flat red patches that meld together. Usually, it begins on the face and works its way down.
  • Eye redness: The measles can inflame the eyes, resulting in light sensitivity and redness.
  • Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, lethargy, and weakness.

Measles Outbreak: Prevention

The best and most effective way to prevent measles is by vaccinating people. Taking a look at the measles statics, in India, almost 348 million children have been vaccinated between the year 2017 to 2023, leading to a 62 per cent drop in the country’s measles infection rates. Moreover, in India, the immunization schedule consists of shots at 9 months, 15 months, and between 4 and 6 years of age. Parents need to proactive and follow these immunization schedules for their children is crucial.

Preventive measures:

  • Isolating afflicted persons is essential, in addition to immunisation.
  • Parents need to be on the lookout for any signs of illness in their children, such as fever and rashes and should keep them home from school.
  • Maintain Hygiene: You can also stop the measles from spreading by washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with those who are affected.

Measles Treatment

Treatment for measles is primarily symptomatic since there is no specific antiviral medication. Moreover, here are some pointers to keep in mind if you’re having measles.

  • For fever, you can have paracetamol. In certain situations, ibuprofen can be administered for high fever.
  • Make sure to drink enough amount of water to keep yourself hydrated and to boost energy levels. Also, make sure you get enough sleep, drink lots of water, and eat a nutritious diet.
  • Aspirin should be avoided, though, particularly if problems like encephalitis, pneumonia, or eye or ear infections arise.

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To sum up, it is critical to understand the measles symptoms, preventative measures, and available treatments during a measles outbreak. Also, early symptoms such as fever, rashes, cough and cold can help to limit the virus’s spread and enable timely action. Moreover, the best and long-term approach for preventing measles is immunisation campaigns and sustains high vaccination rates. Practising regular hygiene and parents being proactive for their children can also control its spread. We can effectively control measles outbreaks and protect people’s health and well-being by remaining informed, proactive, and united in our efforts.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is compiled information from generic and public sources. It is in no way a substitute, suggestion, or advice for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. Beato App does not claim responsibility for this information.

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Anuja Koul

Anuja Koul

A passionate, creative writer and researcher. I found that writing allowed me to express myself in ways that I couldn't have otherwise. I have tried my hands on different writing genres, but I ultimately discovered that healthcare and wellness are my areas of expertise.

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