How to Identify and Help Prevent Measles

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About Measles

According to the CDC, measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing as transmission is primarily person to person via large respiratory droplets. Measles virus has a short survival time in the air or on objects and surfaces. However if other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is a disease of humans; measles virus is not spread by any other animal species.1

Symptoms of Measles

The symptoms include:

  • hacking cough
  • runny nose
  • red eyes
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • and a distinctive red rash that spreads all over the body

Its complications, which can be fatal, include ear infections, blindness, swelling of the brain, and pneumonia. In fact, measles is one of the top causes of death among children below the age of 5.

Measles Prevention

The Department of Health highly recommends vaccination and vitamin A supplementation of nine-month old children and unvaccinated individuals to best defend against measles. Supportive measures like building the nutritional status of the sick person and increasing oral rehydration are also important measures to increase body resistance and replace lost body fluids caused by coughing, diarrhea, and perspiration according to the Department of Health.

Hand Washing

Handwashing can play a major role in helping prevent the transmission of the measles virus. “Handwashing protection works by removing the tiny droplets containing the measles virus from your hands before they get a chance to infect you or transfer to someone else,” says Dr. Layla McCay, Secretariat Director of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing.

In washing the hands, it is important to lather with soap for 20 seconds. A soap that effectively inhibits the growth of diseases is Safeguard with GermShield+, which can remove 99% of common germs, and fights against gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and fungi, offering up to 24 hours of protection in between washes. With regular handwashing, Safeguard can help prevent the spread of the disease.

By taking a proactive stance through vaccination and handwashing, the battle against measles can be won.

  1. Centers for Disease Control , The Pink Book: Course Textbook - 12th Edition Second Printing (May 2012)
  2. Global Hand washing Partnership, Website (Feb 2019) -
  3. Department of Health (Philippines), Website (Feb 2019) -