Measels, also known as rubeola, is a viral respiratory illness. Although vaccination is available in developed countries, it remains one of the leading causes of death among children worldwide (CDC, 2013). The degree of contagiousness of measles contributes to this alarming statistic. The first sign of measles is often an extremely elevated temperature and lasts for approximately one week. Other signs and symptoms include cold-like symptoms such as cough, watery eyes, and a runny nose. Also, small white lesions are visible on the interior of the mouth.
A hallmark indication of the measles respiratory virus is the rash presenting on the face and neck, which spreads with time to the limbs. There is no antiviral for the measles at present time. However, a definitive treatment has been identified. Vitamin A supplements, two doses given 24 hours apart, have been proven to reduce the number of deaths resulting from this virus by half (WHO, 2014). The deaths that do result from the measles virus are typically due to complications resulting from the virus.
Incidence: Because there is a vaccination for measles, it is rare in parts of the world where children are routinely vaccinated. Worldwide, there are approximately 20 million instances of measles (WHO, 2014). Mortality: There are over 100,000 deaths yearly contributed to measles. The majority of those deaths occurred in India (WHO, 2014). Prevalence: After the introduction of the measles vaccination, the prevalence of the virus has decreased dramatically. However, vaccinations that are easily accessible within the United States and other developed countries are not as readily available for other countries. Awareness: Immunization awareness is of utmost importance. Because deaths from this disease are easily preventable with a simple immunization, immunization programs are essential in protecting human lives.