Measles is an extremely infectious disease caused by a virus. One of the leading causes for death among children in the world.
Scientific name – RUBEOLA
What causes measles?
Measles are caused by the paramyxovirus (measles virus) of species called morbillivirus (single stranded RNA virus). Symptoms are not seen immediately after the invasion of the virus. It takes about 8-12 days to show symptoms. It multiplies in the back of the throat and lungs then spread slowly to other areas.
Measles are transmitted easily through sneezing and coughing droplets of the infected person, because the measles virus resides mainly in the mucus and throat regions of infected person.
People under risk of measles are:
- Close contact with the infected person.
- Using or sharing materials with infected person.
- No proper vaccination against measles virus.
- Children`s below one year of age.
- Unsafe travel to highly infectious regions
- No proper nutritious food, especially of vitamin A.
Signs and symptoms seen in measles:
- Fever – this is the first reaction of the body`s defense mechanism for the invasion of any infection. The temperature of the body is considerably increased.
- Cough – this is another sign of infection. Protective reflex action to clear the throat and airways
- Redness and irritation of eyes in few cases
- Increased sensitivity to the light
- Rashes – these are seen visibly after above symptoms. Rashes starts from head and slowly progress to the whole body.
- Sore throat
- Running nose
- Koplik spot – tiny white colored spot seen inside the mouth especially the cheek regions.
- Muscle pain.
Complications of measles:
Measles are one of the deadly diseases in the world. They can lead to following complication like
- Infection of ear – mainly bacterial infections
- Pneumonia – lung infection, mostly proved to be deadly in children