Measles

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Measles, also known as Rubeola, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a generalized, maculopapular, erythematous rash.

Measles (sometimes known as English Measles) is spread through respiration (contact with fluids from an infected person's nose and mouth, either directly or through aerosol transmission), and is highly contagious—90% of people without immunity sharing living space with an infected person will catch it. The infection has an average incubation period of 14 days (range 6–19 days) and infectivity lasts from 2–4 days prior, until 2–5 days following the onset of the rash (i.e. 4–9 days infectivity in total).[1]

An alternative name for measles in English-speaking countries is rubeola, which is sometimes confused with rubella (German measles); the diseases are unrelated.[2][3]

Contents

Signs and symptoms

The classical symptoms of measles include four day fevers, the three Cs—cough, coryza (runny nose) and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The fever may reach up to 40 °C (104 °F). Koplik's spots seen inside the mouth are pathognomonic (diagnostic) for measles but are not often seen, even in real cases of measles, because they are transient and may disappear within a day of arising.

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