As per the World Health Organization (WHO), South East Asian countries have set a target to wipe out measles and control rubella and congenital syndrome by the year 2020. The effort is estimated to cost $ 800 million.
What is the status of measles in South East Asia region?
An estimated 8 million children are vulnerable against measles in South East Asia region as they are not vaccinated against the disease. Measles accounted for the death of over 70,700 children in the region in 2011, which was about 45% of global measles deaths.
What is measles?
Measles is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus which are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses.
Symptoms: Fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a generalized, maculopapular, erythematous rash. The disease is contracted by children with low immunity and can cause acute respiratory problems, diarrhoea and pneumonia. It can also result in disabilities such as visual impairment.
Transmission: Through respiration (contact with fluids from an infected person’s nose and mouth, either directly or through aerosol transmission).
What is the status of measles in India?
Although the expansion of vaccine coverage India has significantly reduced the child mortality due measles, the disease continues to remain a major cause of death among children, claiming between 50,000 to 100,000 lives every year. At present, only 70% of children in the country are protected against it.
How can measles be prevented?
Measles can be prevented by a single dose of vaccine if given when the child is between 9 and 12 months.