Kathmandu [Nepal], February 25 (ANI): Nepal has started a vaccination drive to immunize about 5.7 million children between nine months to 15 years of age with an aim to eliminate measles and rubella.

Scheduled to run until March 20, the campaign will encompass 24 districts, including 21 highly affected areas along the Indian border and three districts within the Kathmandu Valley.

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Additionally, children aged nine months to five years across the remaining 53 districts will also receive vaccinations. The local union government have designated vaccination centres, primarily educational institutions to facilitate the immunization drive.

"The vaccination campaign against measles-rubella is a booster dose, as the same dose is given to children at the age of nine months and fifteen months at all the government hospitals and inoculation drives. This time the government has planned to eradicate measles and rubella," said Bimlesh Mahaseth, principal of a school designated as a vaccination center in Nagarjun Municipality.

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The Ministry of Health and Population has established a total of 48,798 vaccination centres nationwide to support the campaign. Furthermore, 49,937 health workers and 59,906 volunteers have been mobilized to ensure the smooth execution of the campaign.

Measles, a highly contagious disease caused by the measles virus is transmitted from one person to another through airborne respiratory droplets that disperse within minutes when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Transmission can also occur through direct contact with infected secretions. As per the experts, transmission from asymptomatic exposed immune persons has not been demonstrated.

The virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to two hours.

A patient is infectious four days before the start of the rash to four days after its appearance. The virus first infects the respiratory tract before spreading to other organs.

There is no specific antiviral treatment for measles and most people recover within 2-3 weeks.

Nepal in the year 2023 recorded an outbreak of measles in Nepalgunj sub-metropolitan city in Banke district following a cluster of cases of fever and rash. As per a WHO situation report, a total of 690 measles cases including one associated death have been reported from seven districts in Western Nepal and three districts in eastern Nepal.

The majority of the cases (86 per cent) were reported in children aged less than 15 years. While measles is endemic in Nepal and is reported every year, the magnitude and extent of the current outbreak are unusually high compared to the previous years.

Only sporadic isolated measles cases have occurred since 2004, when a substantial outbreak of over 12,000 cases was reported.

Upon receiving the vaccine to fight against the contagion, students of capital now have developed confidence and protection.

"I should be saying that I am quite happy because it's free and because of the concern of government I can probably feel very well as well as do my work pretty well now," Avesh Rana, one of the students told ANI after receiving the vaccine. (ANI)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)