The Latin name for measles is rubeola. The pathogen which causes the disease is a paramyxovirus, which is one of a group of RNA (ribonucleic acid) viruses. Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus, and also comes out in a rash. The virus enters the body via the respiratory system, and grows in the cells at the back of the throat and in the cells that line the lungs, from there it then enters the blood stream and circulates the body.
Usually a person doesn’t start to get symptoms of measles until they have been infected with the virus for 7-11 days. The symptoms are:
• Runny nose
• Dry hacking cough
• Sore throat – lymph nodes swell
• Fever – this can be mild or severe and can reach 105Fº
These symptoms are often passed off as cold or flu, so the measles isn’t usually detected until later on. Other symptoms include:
• Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
• Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
• General aches
• Koplik’s spots – these are spots inside the mouth, throat and side’s of cheek, they are a greyish-white colour.
• Spotty red rash – this is the most recognizable and known symptom of measles but doesn’t usually occur until 2 weeks after a person is infected. (see image 1)
The symptoms usually last about 2 weeks in all.
There are more serious symptoms of having mumps, but although these are more severe they are also a lot less common.
The rare or uncommon symptoms include:
• Encephalitis- inflammation of the brain
• Inflammation of the nervous system
• Infection of the middle ear
• A very high fever
• Severe headache
• Breathing difficulty
Long term damage & disabilities
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