Malicious Microbes

Information Piece by Kayle Pitawanawat


Scientifically called Rubeola, The measles virus is a single stranded enveloped RNA virus of the within the Paramyxoviridae family of the genus Morbillivirus

Measles virus has been around since the 16th century and earlier. It is a respiratory infection cause by the virus, being one of the most contagious diseases in the world it is still common for people who are not vaccinated to contract the virus.

Transmission of Measles

The measles virus is highly contagious and is usually transmitted through contact with an infected persons cough or sneeze the virus can also live on surfaces and in the airspace of the infected person for up to two hours.

Once someone makes contact with the infected or contaminated area and touch there eyes, mouth or nose they are at risk of contracting the virus


General symptoms common with the measles virus appear between 9-11 days after contracting virus. Symptoms include

•Runny nose

•Dry cough/Sneezing

•Fever that can reach 40.6°

•Sensitivity to light

•Inflamed eyelids

•Sore throat

•Koplik's spots - white spots found in back of throat or inside cheek area a few days before body rash

•Blotchy rash


Prevention and Protection

The measles vaccine is given within the first year of birth, if you are unsure if you had received the Rubeola vaccine contact you're health care provider for you're vaccination records. There is no treatment for the measles virus once contracting it. Due to the loss of fluids it is important to stay hydrated and consume healthy foods to help with possible complications.

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Structure of Virus


Humans are the only known host for the virus. Reproduction begins once the virus attaches to healthy cells in the back of the throat and/or the lungs of the host. The measles virus is only able to reproduce using proteins found in healthy cells of the host.

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Though the death rate has dropped significantly since the 1980s many children in developing countries who have not received the Rubeola vaccine are still at high risk of death from contracting the measles virus. Unable to receive the right nutrition the children may not be able to fight off the virus.