Measles is an infectious disease that causes several different symptoms including rash, white splotches, and fever. It is a disease that is spread through the air especially by those that are coughing or sneezing of someone who is affected.

Throughout the world, approximately 20 million people a year. The majority of these individuals are in places like Africa and Asia. But new cases develop worldwide. Measles vaccination is a very effective way to prevent the disease. Vaccinations resulted in a 75% decrease of deaths between 2000 and 2013.

The Death rate of Measles complication Pneumonia was around 30% back in the 1920s.

The Medical Condition

Symptoms will develop approximately 10-14 days after exposure to some who has been affected. Once symptoms begin – they usually last from 7-14 days. But, you can pass the virus approximately 4 days before you have symptoms and continue for 4 days after you are symptom free.

The condition is caused by a Virus called Measles morbillivirusIt was previously known as Measles Virus. It is a single stranded, negative sense, enveloped, non-segmented RNA virus. It is of the genius Morbillivirus and the family Paramyxoviridae.

As mentioned before, it is transmitted both in the air and through contact with saliva or nasal secretions. You can transmit measles through sexual activity. It is typically believed that if you aren’t immunized – that 90% of those who come into contact with the virus, will develop symptoms.

Typical Symptoms

1.)  Fever
2.)  Cough
3.)  Sneezing
4.)  Runny nose
5.)  Inflamed or red eyes
6.)  Koplik’s Spots – form inside the mouth
7.)  Rash
8.)  Headache
9.)  Diarrhea
10.)  Secondary Bronchitis
11.)  Corneal Ulceration
12.)  Brain Inflammation


1.)  Physical Exam
2.)  History of 3+ days of fever
3.)  Observation of Koplik’s spots is diagnostic
4.)  Laboratory test for measles (Blood work)
5.)  Laboratory test for measles (Saliva)


1.)  Mother’s who are immune can pass the antibodies to their children while in the womb.

2.)  This immunity will help a newborn – but these antibodies are lost over the first 9 months of life

Developed Countries

3.)  Immunization against measles at 12 months through a 3 part MMR vaccine is recommended (MMR = Measles, Mumps, Rubella)

4.)  Second dose given between ages 4-5.

Developing Countries – Measles are more common

5.)  Two doses given – at 6 months and again at 9 months

6.)  It is given whether the child is HIV-infected or not


1.)  Once Measles has developed – there is no specific antiviral treatment

General Health Considerations

–  Treat against Super-infections
–  Treat against dehydration – stay hydrated with adequate fluids
–  Treat against pain
.  IBU
–  Give Vitamin A in some cases (malnourished, children, immunocompromised, etc.)

2.)  If patient develops an secondary or resulting pneumonia, ear infection, bronchitis

–  Treat with antibiotics
–  Treat against pain