Khasra (Measles)

Overview of Khasra (Measles)

Khasra Meaning in Urdu

خسرہ ایک ایسی بیماری ہے جو زیادہ تر بچوں کو متاثر کرتی ہے۔ ایسے افراد جن کا مدافعتی نظام مضبوط نہ ہو ان کو بھی یہ بیماری متاثر کر سکتی ہے۔ یہ ایک متعدی بیماری ہے جو کہ آسانی کے ساتھ ایک بچے سے دوسرے بچے میں منتقل ہو سکتی ہے۔ ایسے بچے جن کو اس بیماری سے بچاؤ کی ویکسین نہیں لگوائی جاتی وہ زیادہ تر اس بیماری کا شکار ہوتے ہیں۔ خسرہ کی بنیادی علامات میں بخار، خشک کھانسی، ناک سے پانی بہنا، گلے کی خراش یا سوزش، یا جِلد پر سفید دھبے شامل ہیں۔

Measles (Khasra خسرہ) is an infectious disease caused by the Rubeola virus. Usually, it infects children under age 5 but can also occur in adults with compromised immune systems. It is a systemic infection; the virus enters and multiplies in the nose or throat and spreads to other organs of the body. The incubation period of the measles virus is 10-14 days. After infection, the virus incubates until the rashes appear on the body.

There is no specific treatment for measles, however, it can be prevented by vaccination. It is transmitted through droplets from infected people to a healthy one. Most of the time, symptoms are mild and go away on their own. However, in other cases, the infection can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia.

Occurrence of Measles

Globally, measles is the most common death-causing disease. It mostly infects children but can also occur in adults with weakened immune systems. Annually, it kills about 100,000 individuals, especially under the age 5.

Though its occurrence has been controlled globally, in developing countries it is still a deadly infectious disease. In Pakistan, during the large outbreak between the years 2012-2013, 30,000 cases of measles have been reported.

Signs and Symptoms of Khasra (Measles)

Signs and symptoms of measles appear approximately 10-14 days after exposure to the virus. Some common signs and symptoms of measles are:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centres inside the also called Koplik's spots
  • Skin rashes made up of large, flat blotches

Types of Khasra (Measles)

Measles occurs in two forms. Although, the symptoms of both types are the same but caused by different viruses:

  • Standard Measles: Also known as red measles or hard measles. Standard measles is caused by the rubeola virus.
  • German Measles: Also called rubella measles. German measles is caused by the rubella virus. This infection is typically milder than the standard measles.

Causes of Khasra (Measles)

Measles can be caused by a virus called the Rubeola virus. It is a highly contagious infection that can be transmitted from an infected person. The virus multiplies in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult. 

Transmission of Virus

  1. When an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, a virus containing droplets spreads into the air. When a healthy person inhales in the same air they become infected.
  2. The infected droplets can also fall on a surface, where the virus can remain active and contagious for several hours. From these surfaces, viruses can enter the body when you rub your mouth or eyes after touching the infected surface. 

About 90% of people are infected after contracting the virus.

Infection Cycle

The measles virus enters the body through the nose, mouth or eyes. Further, it infects the immune cells in the lungs. After infecting the lymph nodes, the virus spreads into the blood. Through blood, the virus enters other organs of the body such as the liver, skin, nervous system and spleen. In the skin, it causes inflammation of the capillaries that results in rashes. In the brain, it causes swelling after crossing the blood-brain barrier, which is a life-threatening condition.


Risk Factors of Khasra (Measles)

There are some factors that increase the risk of measles such as:

  • Being Unvaccinated: If you haven't been vaccinated for measles, your risk of developing the disease is increased.
  • Vitamin A Deficiency: If your diet is deficient in vitamin A, you're more likely to develop severe symptoms and complications.
  • Travelling Internationally: If you travel to countries, where measles infection is common, your chances of developing measles are increased.

Health-Related Complications of Measles

Measles can lead to other health-related complications such as:

-Bronchitis or laryngitis: With measles, you may develop laryngitis-inflammation of the larynx or inflammation of the lungs (bronchial tubes).

-Ear Infection: Ear infection is the most common complication of measles. It is usually caused by bacteria. 

-Encephalitis: Encephalitis is a viral brain infection. Every 1 person in 1,000 having measles develops encephalitis. 

-Pneumonia: Pneumonia is another common complication of measles. People with weakened immune systems most likely develop pneumonia.

-Pregnancy Problems: During pregnancy measles should be avoided to prevent complications such as: 

  • Preterm labour, 
  • Low birth weight 
  • Maternal death.



As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation measles infection can be prevented by proper vaccination. 

Measles Vaccine in Children

For the prevention of measles in children, doctors usually give the first dose between 12-15 months. The second dose is given between the ages of 4-6 years. 

Measles Vaccine in Adults

Adults need measles vaccination in the following situations:

  • Attending college 
  • Travelling internationally 
  • Working in a hospital environment

During the outbreak of measles infection, you can avoid its spread by following ways:

  1. Isolation for about 4 days after the breakout is the best precautionary measure to prevent its spread. During this time avoid gatherings and routine activities.
  2. Vaccinate yourself or your child as soon as possible.


Your doctor may diagnose measles on the basis of disease characteristics such as rash. Rashes usually appear as a small, bluish-white spot also known as Koplik's spot. Infection can be confirmed by:

  • Blood test 
  • Throat swab 
  • Urine test

Treatment of Khasra (Measles) | When to Consult a Doctor

Treatment options available for measles are:

Home Treatment

At home you can relieve measles symptoms by the following comfort measures:

  1. Get plenty of rest and cancel busy activities.
  2. Drink a lot of water, fresh juices and herbal tea to fulfil fluid loss by fever and sweating.
  3. To relieve frequent cough and sore throat use a humidifier.
  4. Rest your eyes by avoiding reading, television and bright lights. 

Measles infection can’t be treated by using any specific medication. However, some measures can be taken to protect susceptible individuals who have been contracted the virus.

-Immune Serum Globulin: Immune serum globulin shots are given to individuals such as:

  • Pregnant women
  • Infants  
  • People with weakened immune systems 

-Post-exposure Vaccination: Usually, infants are given vaccination within 72 hours of contraction to provide protection against the virus. If the infection still develops, it lasts for a few days with mild symptoms.

Medications for Measles

-Fever Reducers: You can give over-the-counter medications to your child to relieve the fever such as:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 
  • Naproxen sodium (Aleve) 
  • Ibuprofen (Advil)

Avoid the use of aspirin for children or teenagers who have measles symptoms. Because it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a life-threatening condition in teenagers.  

-Antibiotics: In case of pneumonia or bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. 

-Vitamin A: Vitamin A intake can reduce the severity of measles.