Measles Immunization Day: Important Guide About Measles

Dr. Gautam Padhye

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gautam Padhye

General Physician

4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Measles disease is also called rubeola and it usually affects children
  • Fever, sore throat, cough and skin rash are symptoms of measles
  • Measles Immunization Day is observed every year on March 16

Measles is a viral infection that develops in the respiratory system. Also known as rubeola, the condition mostly affects children. The disease is still a significant cause of mortality among small children. However, you can prevent yourself from measles disease through a safe and effective vaccination. Measles Immunization Day aims at spreading awareness about the disease and the need for vaccination. An interesting fact about its immunization is that it led to a 73% decrease in mortality between the years 2000 and 2018 [1]. Read on to know what is measles, early signs and other important details. 

Additional Read: National Deworming Day

Symptoms of measles 

The measles symptoms in adults and children generally occur within 10-14 days from the exposure to the virus. Some early symptoms of measles include the following: 

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Runny nose 
  • Sore throat 
  • White spots inside the mouth
  • Skin rash
  • Conjunctivitis (red or inflamed eyes)
Measles disease complications

Causes of measles 

A virus from the paramyxovirus family is responsible for causing this disease. These are tiny parasitic microbes that invade host cells after infection. They complete their life cycle by using cellular components. Your respiratory tract gets infected first. Then, it spreads to other body parts through the bloodstream. It affects only humans.

There are certain risk factors for measles disease. For instance, those who are unvaccinated are at a higher risk of contracting this disease. Young children, pregnant women, and individuals with weak immunity are at an increased risk as well. If you are planning to travel to countries with an outspread of measles, your chances of contracting it may increase. Similarly, having a diet deficient in vitamin A also puts you at risk.

Complications of measles disease

How does measles spread? 

The virus spreads through respiratory droplets and small aerosol particles. It gets released into the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. These particles may also contaminate surfaces and objects. It can infect you if you come in contact with such objects including doorknobs, handles, and tables. This virus can survive longer outside compared to most of the other viruses.  It can remain active and contagious for up to 2 hours in the air or on the surfaces.

Measles Immunization Day -33

How contagious is measles disease? 

This disease can spread very quickly from one person to the other. It is highly infectious. In fact, an infected person can further infect 9-18 susceptible people. An individual who is not immunized and exposed to the virus has a 90% possibility of contracting the illness [2]. If the virus enters your body, you are contagious for four days until the appearance of the skin rash. You can still remain contagious for four more days after the appearance of the rash.

Treatment of measles 

There is no specific treatment available for this disease. However, the virus and its symptoms usually vanish within 2-3 weeks. Your doctor may prescribe a vaccine within 72 hours from exposure to the virus. Else, you may need to take an immunoglobulin dose within six days of exposure. Follow these simple tips to boost immunity. 

  • Drink lots of fluids 
  • Take plenty of rest  
  • Take vitamin A supplements 

When is Measles Immunization Day? 

This day is observed every year on March 16. It is celebrated to create awareness about this disease and its prevention [3]. The safest and cost-effective way to prevent it is through vaccination. Note that young children without measles immunization are at greater risk of this disease and its fatal consequences. 

Additional Read: National Influenza Vaccination Week

On this Measles Immunization Day, spread awareness and encourage others to get vaccinated. If you observe any symptoms of measles, book an online doctor consultation right away on Bajaj Finserv Health. Consult with the best dermatologists near you and nip the problem in the bud!

Published on 16 Mar 2022Last updated on 12 Jan 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Gautam Padhye

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gautam Padhye

, MBBS 1

Best dr in the region.


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