What are Measles?

Measles is a highly transmissible, severe human disease caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family.

It is an airbourne disease spread by coughing and sneezing, or contact with the saliva or nasal secretion of those infected. The virus will infect the mucous membrane before spreading to the rest of the body.

Risk factors include immunodeficiency, especially in those with HIV or AIDS. Those who are unvaccinated are also at a risk of contracting measles, especially children and pregnant women.

Signs of measles typically include moderate to high fever, conjunctivitis, acute rash that consists of small red spots, some of which are slightly raised. Symptoms normally appear 10-12 days after exposure to the virus.

Complications are more common in children under 5 and adult over the age of 20. Complications range from blindness to death in some cases. For those who recover from measles, their body would have developed an immunity against it, and they will be immune to the virus for the rest of their lives.



Measles (2015). who.int, (n.d.) retrieved 27 October 2015, from <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/>


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