MEASLES AND RUBELLA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci & Tech-Diseases)

News-CRUX-10     9th March 2024        
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Context: India has been bestowed with the prestigious measles and rubella champion award for its exemplary efforts in combating these diseases.

Measles

  • About: Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is a cause of death among young children globally.
  • Cause and Classification: It is caused by a single-stranded, enveloped RNA virus with 1 serotype and classified as a member of the genus Morbillivirus in the Paramyxoviridae family.
  • Impact on Vulnerable Populations: Particularly dangerous for children from economically weaker backgrounds, as it targets malnourished children and those with reduced immunity.
  • Serious Complications: Measles can lead to serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia.


Rubella

  • About: Rubella is also called German Measles and is a contagious, generally mild viral infection that occurs most often in children and young adults.
  • Cause and Comparison with Measles: It is caused by the rubella virus, an enveloped single-stranded RNA virus. Rubella isn't as infectious or severe as measles, though they share some signs and symptoms like the red rash.
  • Risk: Rubella infection in pregnant women may cause death or congenital defects known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS), resulting in irreversible birth defects.


Government Initiatives

  • The Measles and Rubella Partnership

oAbout: The partnership is anchored by a multi-agency planning committee.

oMembers: Notable members include the American Red Cross, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), UNICEF, and World Health Organisation.

oShared Goal: All participating organizations are committed to reducing global measles deaths and preventing rubella illness.

  • Mission Indradhanush

oAbout: Launched on 25 December 2014, this seeks to drive towards 90% full immunisation coverage of India and sustain the same by year 2020. 

oAim: To ensure full immunisation with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women.

Samadhaan