What Is Measles

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What Is Measles ?

Measles is a viral infection that causes characteristic rash all over the body. It is a highly contagious infection.

However, measles can be prevented by ensuring proper vaccination. Usually children are vaccinated against measles when they receive the MMR vaccine between the age of 12 months and 15 months. Then they receive a booster between the age of 4 years and 6 years. Similarly, adults also need two doses of measles vaccine to gain immunity against the infection.

Measles vaccine is available since 1963, and most children all over the world are immunized against the disease. However, the ones who are not immunized can still get measles and spread it to others who do not have the immunity to the measles virus. Usually when a person gets measles, he or she has to stay inside the outside under quarantine so that the infection is not spread. There is no specific treatment for the infection. The person will be given symptomatic treatment, and asked to get ample bed rest and drink a lot of fluids.

Usually the infection is not dangerous and goes away on it own. However, it is an unpleasant and uncomfortable condition to have. The symptoms manifest after 10 to 14 days of being exposed to the virus. The initial symptoms are quite similar to a severe cold, where the person will suffer from fever, runny nose, cough and red watery eyes. Thereafter the rash will appear on the face and then spread to over the entire body. The rash usually disappears within 5 days, leaving behind flaky white patches. However, at this point the person is still infectious for around a week.

Sometimes, complications like pneumonia, encephalitis or meningitis can set it. These can be fatal or they can lead to permanent disability.

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What Is Measles