Measles is a communicable and seen as a childhood disease, although anyone of any age can catch it.
Cause: Rubeola virus from the Paramyxovirus
Virus / Bacteria? Virus
Spread by: Droplet
Immunisation? Yes, part of the MMR vaccine. Infection of the virus causes life long immunity. Immunisation has decreased measles outbreaks significantly in the last few decades
Higher risk persons: Younger children, immune compromised persons, pregnant women.
A viral infection, measles is a significant cause of death throughout the world. Starting in the respiratory system and spread through droplets (sneezing, coughing). Measles is highly contagious being spread often before the original person knows they are infected.
Not to be confused with German Measles (Rubella), Measles is a serious disease and can have complications which should be resolved after 2 weeks, but can also be life threatening in rare cases.
Incubation time: 4 days before the rash appears. The rash is a red effusive rash, especially over the abdomen. Where in Chicken pox the rash is blistery, the measles rash is not as raised and a more pinky colour, with a possibility of strawberry spots appearing with are large, red areas hence the name strawberry spots.
Measles presents with flu like symptoms and then after a few days, a very specific rash.
The virus infects the respiratory tract first, spreading to other parts of the body. The infection lasts about 2 weeks.
If you suspect measles, get a medical practitioners appointment / opinion as soon as possible.
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