Measles or Rubeola JJ task 3

Topics: Vaccine, World Health Organization, Air Quality Index Pages: 7 (1458 words) Published: July 7, 2015
Measles Outbreak and Controlling a Pandemic
James Wilson


Measles, or Rubeola as it is also called, is caused by a virus. Years ago, before the Measles vaccine was prevalent in the United States, this virus was one of the worse in terms of disease in our nation. Most children contracted this virus in their adolescent years, and many died due to lack of treatment options. More than 400 people died each year of Measles and hundreds more were left with irreversible brain damage. Information on the disease was scarce, so much that it left few treatment options. Transmission of the virus usually occurred through the air. Coughing and sneezing of people infected with Measles was the usual vehicle for spreading the disease. The disease is so easily transmitted that anyone who had it would most likely infect their whole family.

The Measles virus grows in the cells of the respiratory tract which explains why it is so easily transmitted through the air. It can thrive outside the body for up to 2 hours. Common symptoms include all of the flu like symptoms such as coughing, fever, sneezing and a tell-tale rash that spreads all over the body. The disease can be spread for up to half a week after the appearance of a rash. Measles is one of the most easily spread virus. Hygiene and coughing etiquette were not as prevalent in the 19th century causing this disease to be a major killer among children who have underdeveloped immune systems.

With advances in science and our understanding of modern medicine, the Measles virus has been all but eradicated in the United States. The education of the population and the advancement of vaccines to deter Measles have lowered the prevalence of the virus to less than one hundred cases annually in the United States. In the 1960’s the Measles vaccine was created and was changed and improved through the years to give us the vaccine we use today. The current vaccine introduces a small amount of the virus to your body so that your immune system can create antibodies. Children less than 18 months that receive the full course of the vaccine



have less than a 1% chance of contracting the virus and getting the disease. It is important to get both doses of the vaccine to achieve the desired antibodies. In the late 1980’s the United States had an outbreak of Measles. Toddlers and infants were affected the worse with over half the cases occurring in this population. Minorities were affected most. This outbreak was blamed on low vaccine administration in urban areas. With this information, the government made it a requirement to be vaccinated with the Measles vaccine to be in an elementary school. Education on the disease and vaccines led to decrease instances of the disease in subsequent years. Recent cases in the United States have been linked to countries outside the United States.

In countries other than the US, there is still a wide incidence of Measles with most of the outbreaks being seen in India. Because of lack of availability of clinics and vaccines, numerous outbreaks among the young in these developing countries continue. The Global Vaccine Action Plan created in this decade by the World Health Assembly is tasked with lowering the amount of mortalities caused by Measles. Their concentration is focused on education and getting vaccines to developing countries like India to help eradicate this disease worldwide. If the United States were to have an outbreak of Measles now it would be handled swiftly. With the advancement in our understanding of the transmission of the disease and how to treat it, wide spread outbreak would be nearly impossible. Vaccine rates continue to stay high in all ethnicities and age groups. People take the absence of Measles for granted but the need and importance of vaccines is still recognized by all. Hospitals are adequately prepared to deal with an outbreak and are...

References: 1. American Lung Association. Air Quality Index: Using Air Quality Information to Protect
Yourself from Outdoor Air Pollution. 2014.
2. CDC. Progress in global measles control and mortality reduction, 2000--2006. MMWR
3. World Health Organization. Media Centre: Measles. Factsheet N 286. February 2013.
4. World Health Organization, United Nations Children 's Fund. Measles Mortality Reduction
and Regional Elimination Strategic Plan 2001--2005. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health
Organization; 2001.
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