Why in News?
World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that the
Measles has been eliminated in the Sri Lanka.
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbill, is a highly
contagious viral disease.
Caused by: Infection with the rubeola virus. The virus
lives in the mucus of the nose and throat of an infected
child or adult.
It can cause fatal complications including encephalitis,
severe diarrhoea and dehydration, pneumonia, ear
infections and permanent vision loss.
Measles typically begins with a high fever, and 2-3
weeks later, a characteristic rash appears on the face
and then spreads over the body.
There are two types of measles:
Measles: This is the standard form caused by the
Rubella, or German measles: This is caused by the
rubella virus. German measles can have severe
consequences during pregnancy such as miscarriage,
foetal death or congenital defects known as
congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).
Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and
rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO
Regions by 2020.
Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose,
mouth or throat of infected persons.
Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished
young children, especially those with insufficient
vitamin A, or whose immune systems have been
weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases.
There is no specific treatment available for Measles.
However, the measles vaccine has been in use since
the 1960s. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
vaccine is generally given at 12 to 15 months of age.
Measles Status in India:
India reported more than 47,000 measles cases and
1,200 rubella cases during May 2018 and April 2019.India, along with ten other WHO South East Asia Region
member countries, have resolved to eliminate measles
and Control Rubella/Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS)
Rubella control is achieved when a country reduces the
number of rubella cases by 95% as compared to cases
in 2008.India initiated the world’s largest Measles-Rubella
(MR) Campaign in February 2017, targeting children
and adolescents aged between 9 months and 15 years.
Under the programme, two doses of measles and
rubella vaccines are to be given at ages 9-12 months
and 16-24 months.
In 2018, children in 28 states/UT have been vaccinated
under MR campaign.
Sri Lanka is the fifth country in WHO’s Southeast Asia
region to eliminate measles. The other four countries
are Bhutan, Maldives, Korea and Timor- Leste.
Member-countries of the World Health Organisation
(WHO) South-East Asia Region have resolved to
eliminate highly infectious childhood killer diseases
measles and rubella by 2023.