The contagious viral disease measles is common among children and is one of the leading causes of death in India. Measles, also known as rubeola, has shown a declining trend these days, but it is in the news due to its seriousness. According to the World Health Organisation’s provisional data, as of February 2024, India stood fourth among the top countries in the measles outbreak. The Pandemic  had a great influence on measles vaccination, as many children were deprived of it, leading to an outbreak later.


The disease caused by morbillivirus usually spreads through the air and can have serious consequences. Any infected person, especially children, can spread it faster by breathing, coughing, and sneezing. Humans are the natural hosts of the measles virus.


Measles symptoms start 8 to 12 days after exposure to the virus. The common symptoms associated are high fever, runny nose, and red eyes. Red and blotchy rashes, sometimes with white tips, spread from the face to various parts of the body. The rash may last 10 days, with a sore throat, white spots in the mouth, and muscle pain being the other likely symptoms.

Complications may arise in pregnant women where infected women may give pre-term birth to babies. Other complications are diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, and encephalitis.


The measles vaccine is the most effective way to avoid the viral disease. Much progress has been made in our country, where vaccination is touted as an effective weapon for fighting contagious diseases. People near the infected must take precautions like wearing protective gear, initiating good hand-washing techniques, monitoring recent outbreaks, and avoiding certain places with an outbreak.

Although there is no specific treatment for the disease, certain basic remedial measures can be followed. Due to the high fever in most patients, taking a bath in lukewarm water will bring much-needed relief. Adding mineral salts and oatmeal may reduce itchiness. Drinking lots of water and fluid, taking bed rest, and avoiding mingling with people will help prevent the spread of the disease.

Vaccination, the way out

Though vaccination has made a breakthrough in tackling the disease, it has to be remembered that the viral disease can spread its fangs if the pace of vaccinations slows. Viruses evolve every day, and one wrong decision can mar the entire effort until today. Especially with children mostly affected, more efforts should be made to apprise people about the measures to be taken in case of an outbreak. Getting medical help as fast as possible will help keep the disease at bay.