By: Marcos Banda
Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air. The virus infects the mucous membranes, then spreads throughout the body.
Who is at Risk?
Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death. Unvaccinated pregnant women are also at risk. Any non-immune person (who has not been vaccinated or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity) can become infected.
How the Disease is Transmitted?
The highly contagious virus is spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.
Symptoms, Treatments, and Treatment Success Rate
First sign of the virus is a high fever, usually starting about 10-12 days after exposure to the virus. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. There is no treatment to stop Measles. Once you have it. Its up to your body to fight it off. About 2 in 1000 people with measles die.