Measles (Rubeola)

Measles may not spread as fast as erroneous sound bites and tweets, but they both have the potential to cause a great amount of damage - Bill Foster

Measles (Rubeola)
Measles (Rubeola)

image by: Lhaviyani Atoll Hospital - LHAH

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Measles: Why it’s so deadly, and why vaccination is so vital

Thanks to vaccination, however, between 2000 and 2016 there was an 84 percent decrease in measles mortality, and over 20 millions deaths were prevented due to vaccination. What an achievement...

These successes don’t mean the measles is gone or that the virus has become weak. Far from it. Seeing the virus up close and personal over all these years and knowing what happens when it runs rampant in an infected host gives me such respect for this minuscule “little bag of destruction” whose genetic material is 190,000 times smaller than ours. It’s also ironic how losing sight of the disease because of the success of vaccination has brought new societal challenges.

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 Measles: Why it’s so deadly, and why vaccination is so vital

Measles is a highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease that spreads like wildfire in naive populations. The virus played its part in decimating Native American populations during the age of discovery. Since these people groups had no natural immunity to the diseases brought to the New World by Europeans, some estimates suggest up to 95 percent of the Native American population died due to smallpox, measles and other infectious diseases.

9 things everybody should know about measles

There’s one fact that makes the measles virus really scary: it’s one of the most infectious diseases known to man. A person with measles can cough in a room, leave, and — if you are unvaccinated — hours later, you could catch the virus from the droplets in the air that they left behind. No other virus can do that.

6 Terrifying Facts About Measles

Measles is one of the most contagious illnesses known to man.

Measles & Rubella Initiative

The Measles & Rubella Initiative is committed to ensuring that no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome. We help countries to plan, fund and measure efforts to stop measles and rubella for good.


Measles is a highly contagious virus that can lead to complications. Learn about its history, answers to common questions, and, if you’re a parent, how you can protect your child.

There are two "forms" of measles: rubeola (the "ordinary" kind), which causes more serious symptoms and can do permanent damage, and rubella ("German" measles), which is very benign if you have it as a child or an adult but can induce severe birth defects in womem infected early in pregnancy. Aside from some similarity in symptoms, there isn't much in common betwen the two viruses.


While measles is probably best known for its full-body rash, the first symptoms of the infection are usually a hacking cough, runny nose, high fever, and red eyes. A characteristic marker of measles are Koplik's spots, small red spots with blue-white centers that appear inside the mouth.


Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5.


People who have been appropriately vaccinated (or who have had the disease) and who are exposed to a patient with measles do not need to do anything. If an unimmunized person is exposed to a patient with measles, they should receive the vaccine as soon as possible. This may prevent the disease if given within 72 hours of exposure. Immune globulin may have some benefit if given within six days of exposure.

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

Measles is a highly infectious respiratory disease that can result in severe, sometimes permanent, complications including pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring), brain damage, and death. It it highly contagious and spreads easily by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. In fact, if a person has measles, 9 out of 10 of his close contacts will get it too, unless they are protected.


Mumps, Measles, Rubella News.


Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year. The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 145 700 people died from measles in 2013 – mostly children under the age of 5. Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air.

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