Measles Disease and its Causes

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Junior (College 3rd year) ・Biology ・MLA ・4 Sources

The disease under study in this paper is measles. It is an infectious disease. The ailment is highly contagious such the infected man or woman can spread it to ninety percent of the human beings around him/her if they are not blanketed (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The disease is caused by way of a virus, Paramyxovirus morbillivirus (Kutty, Rota and Bellini). The disease is characterized through symptoms such as high fever, malaise, coryza, cough, conjunctivitis, and rash. The rash takes place fourteen days after infection. Measles by itself is a mild or rather severe illness. However, in rare cases, one to three in a thousand infections can end result in complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis or death (Kutty, Rota and Bellini). The disease is more severe in children than adults. In acute occurrences, the disease can result in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), sequelae. This is a deadly central nervous system disease that may develop seven to ten years after infection by measles. Measles has an incubation period of between seven to twenty-one days. the disease is highly infectious from four days before the onset of the rashes to four days after their onset.

In some countries, such as the United States of America, the disease has been eliminated (Kutty, Rota and Bellini). However, in other countries, especially developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia, the disease still possesses a great threat to human life. The people born on or before 1966 are most likely to be attacked by the virus. Especially the ones who have never been attacked by the virus or received two doses of measles-containing vaccine from the age of twelve. People with a weak immune system such as cancer patients and HIV positive individuals are likely to be infected.

Benefits of getting Rid of the Disease

There are invaluable benefits of eliminating any disease, measles being inclusive. The absence of measles in the society can ensure there is low child mortality (Public Health Agency of Canada). The disease is severe in children than adults. In some countries, the disease is reported to cause a high number of deaths and sequelae diseases such as encephalitis and pneumonia. Pneumonia is a deadly disease among infants.

The other benefit accrued to the elimination of the disease is saving on medical care expenses. Families and government spend lots of money paying their measles patients bills in hospitals. The resources used in attending the measles patients can be used for other life-improving ways such as investments. Also, the time used in attending sick measles patients can be used to in more productive ways.

Elimination of measles is also a major step in reducing human suffering. Measles disease causes human suffering directly and indirectly. The measles patients suffer from the pain and discomfort caused by high fever and other body malfunction. In severe conditions, measles can result in death or central nerve system problems. The family of the affected individuals suffers from the pain of losing their beloved ones or seeing them suffer.

Feasibility of getting Rid of the Disease

It is very feasible to eliminate measles in a society. The United States of America in 2000 announced to have eliminated the disease. The disease has been on the planet Earth for over ten thousand years (Kutty, Rota and Bellini). It is a viral disease thus it is hard to cure it.

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The best method to protect yourself from measles is through vaccination against measles (Kutty, Rota and Bellini). This method has been scientifically and practically viable. The United States of America used this method to eliminate the disease among her citizens. The vaccine is administered from the age of twelve months depending on when the person was born. Children from 1966 onwards in America have been receiving two doses of measles vaccine in their early ages of between twelve to fifteen months. This early age vaccine is ninety-three percent effective in protecting against measles. The vaccine is also administered to people at advanced ages. Aged people, unless with weakened immune system, are vaccinate with measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine. This type of vaccine has measles protection effectiveness of over ninety-seven percent.

To eliminate the disease and prevent future infections, the government respective governments have to put up policies and mechanisms to ensure all the citizens are vaccinated against measles. Then after, they have to prevent importation of the diseases from outside communities by screening persons entering the respective countries or obtaining their medical data on measles status.

Scientific Study

Laboratory studies have proved that vaccination method that came to use in the 1900s to help curb viral disease infections is effective in eliminating measles (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The method has been effective in eliminating other diseases from societies such as smallpox and polio. Disease screening is a method to control spread of a disease by controlling and monitoring entry of people to countries through immigration centers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Individuals are screened for highly contagious diseases before being allowed to the country.

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "An Introduction to Measles." 2016.

—. "Measles imported by returning U.S. travelers aged 6–23 months, 2001–2011." 2011.

Kutty, Preeta, et al. "Measles." VPD Surveillance Manual. 6th. CDC, 2013. 1-21.

Public Health Agency of Canada. "Guidelines for the prevention and control of measles outbreaks in Canada." CAanada Communicable Disease Report Vol. 39.ISSN 1481-8531 (2013).

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