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                                Measles

                                  Overview

                                  Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

                                  While vaccination has drastically reduced global measles deaths — a 73% drop between 2000-2018 worldwide — measles is still common in many developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. More than 140,000 people died from measles in 2018. The overwhelming majority (more than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.

                                  Member States in all WHO Regions have adopted measles elimination goals. WHO is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination of immunization and surveillance activities supporting all countries to achieve these goals.

                                  Symptoms

                                  Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.

                                  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. The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea and related dehydration, and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.

                                  Treatment

                                  Routine measles vaccination for children, combined with mass immunization campaigns in countries with low routine coverage, are key public health strategies to reduce global measles deaths.

                                  The measles vaccine has been in use since the 1960s. It is safe, effective and inexpensive. WHO recommends immunization for all susceptible children and adults for whom measles vaccination is not contraindicated. Reaching all children with 2 doses of measles vaccine, either alone, or in a measles-rubella (MR), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) combination, should be the standard for all national immunization programmes.

                                  140 000

                                  people died

                                  from measles in 2018

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                                  World immunization week 2020

                                  24-30 April 2020

                                  Publications

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                                  Measles and rubella strategic framework: 2021-2030

                                  Measles remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with an estimated 9.7 million cases and more than 140,000 measles-related...

                                  Guide for clinical case management and infection prevention and control during a measles outbreak

                                  This document outlines practical clinical care interventions and infection prevention and control measures required to reduce the high levels of morbidity...

                                  WHO immunological basis for immunization series: module 7: measles: update 2020

                                  The main purpose of these documents - which are published as separate disease/vaccine-specific modules - is to give vaccination professionals e.g. EPI...

                                  The role of extended and whole genome sequencing for tracking transmission of measles and rubella viruses: report from the Global Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network meeting, 2017

                                  The lack of an endemic genotype of measles and rubella is an essential criterion for verification of elimination of disease transmission.Molecular surveillance...

                                  Measles vaccines: WHO position paper – April 2017

                                  The papers are reviewed by external experts and WHO staff, and are reviewed and endorsed by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization...

                                  Roadmap to elimination standard measles and rubella surveillance

                                  Effective surveillance is fundamental to achieving measles and rubella elimination and essential for its verification. “Elimination-standard”...

                                  Planning and implementing high-quality supplementary immunization activities for injectable vaccines using an example of measles and rubella vaccines: field guide

                                       This is a field guide that is intended for immunization programme managers and their partners. The focus of this guide is ensuring...

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