Measles is a severe and highly contagious respiratory disease whose symptoms are rashes and high fever. A severe measles infection can lead to complications such as severe respiratory infections, blindness, or even encephalitis. Due to the seriousness of the diseases, an outbreak can result in severe consequences or even death if not monitored and tracked early. As a result, several public health and educational measures are put into place for monitoring and monitoring measles outbreaks.
The first measure taken to combat this health problem involves immunization and childhood vaccination. Immunization is the most effective and widely accepted way of preventing people from getting measles. Each person is supposed to receive a live attenuated vaccine which induces an immune response similar to the naturally acquired immunity. The vaccine is around 95% effective and has a cero conversion rate close to 100% (Currie, 2017).
Children receive the first measles vaccine at 12 months of age and the second dose at 18months. While the first dose might fail to about 5% of the people, this failure automatically seroconverts from the second dose and, therefore, the safest methods of preventing measles (Currie, 2017). The European immunization program has recommended a two-dose immunization schedule administered during the second year of life. Receiving the two doses has proved to be the most effective way of preventing and controlling measles.
The second measure of monitoring and prevention of measles outbreaks is addressing the misconceptions about measles vaccination. There have been several myths and misconceptions since the introduction of vaccines. While measles is a severe and highly contagious disease, some people believe it is harmless. In contrast, others believe the health system is competent enough to treat measles in case of an outbreak and, therefore, no need to take precautionary measures (Hill et al., 2021). Addressing these myths and misconceptions by educating people on taking care is crucial for monitoring and controlling measles outbreaks. Conducting seminars and educational programs to inform people of the disease’s seriousness and address the misconception is a powerful tool for tracking and monitoring the condition.
From a public standpoint, other measures taken about measles include doing surveillance and getting the disease data for measles, getting the number of infected cases, and taking the treatment action immediately. In addition, public health also publishes monthly reports. It uses them to educate the public to ensure they are aware of the infection rates and encourage them to get the prevention measures.
Other agencies and non-governmental organizations have taken measures such as planning responses in case of an outbreak, public information, and case management of uncomplicated cases. Bodies such as World Health Organization (WHO) encourage actions such as general information in case of epidemics to make the public aware of taking preventive measures (WHO, 2021). Further, they encourage supportive measures for uncomplicated measles cases, such as giving vitamin A to children, advising mothers on how to treat uncomplicated patients at home, and providing nutrition support. Many agencies and non-governmental agencies have especially undertaken provisional nutritional support through giving relief food, donating medicine to treat mouth ulcers, and supporting breastfeeding mothers.
Though measles is highly contagious, taking preventive measures, ensuring everyone gets vaccinated and educating the public go a long way in ensuring the disease is tracked and controlled. These measures are the most effective ways of preventing the severity of measles.
Currie, J., Davies, L., McCarthy, J., Perry, M., Moore, C., Cottrell, S.,… & Stiff, R. (2017). Measles outbreak linked to European B3 outbreaks, Wales, United Kingdom, 2017. Eurosurveillance, 22(42), 17-00673. Web.
Hill, M. C., Salmon, D., Chudleigh, J., & Aitken, L. M. (2021). Practice nurses’ perceptions of their immunization role and strategies used to promote measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine uptake in 2014–2018: A qualitative study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 77(2), 948-956. Web.
World Health Organization. (2021). Measles outbreaks strategic response plan: 2021–2023: measles outbreak prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Web.