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Measles and Rubella


As the new year dawned, so did a crucial target for India. India had set a target to eliminate measles and rubella (MR) by 2023, having missed the earlier deadline of 2020, due to a variety of reasons, exacerbated by disruptions due to the pandemic. An earlier target that was set for 2015 was also missed. 


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Measles
  2. About Rubella

About Measles

  • Measles or as it is called ‘khasra’, is a highly contagious viral disease which affects mostly children.
  • It is one of the leading causes of death and disability among young children.
  • There is no specific treatment for measles but there is a vaccine to stay protected from the disease, which is both safe as well as cost effective.
  • Death due to measles are caused by the complications associated with the disease like blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea and pneumonia.
  • Measles spreads by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.
  • As per reports, an infected child with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.
What are the symptoms?
  • Symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
  • The main symptoms are fever, dry cough, running nose, sore throat and rash.
  • The rashes look like small red spots which remain slightly raised and give the skin a splotchy red appearance.
  • The face of the rash breaks out first. Within days, it spreads to the rest of the body.

About Rubella

  • It is also called German Measles.
  • Rubella is a contagious, generally mild viral infection that occurs most often in children and young adults.
  • Rubella infection in pregnant women may cause death or congenital defects known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) which causes irreversible birth defects.
  • It is contagious and there is no known treatment for it, although it can be prevented by vaccination.
  • It can cause blindness or irreversible birth defects (congenital rubella syndrome).
  • The rubella virus is different from the one that causes measles.
  • Although both share a few symptoms, rubella is not as severe or contagious as measles.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024