Measles is caused by paramyxo virus mostly found in children. Measles virus is also known as rubeola and morbilli in medical terms. Measles virus is classified under 5th Group as ssRNA type. It is in the order of Mononegavirales and belongs to Paramyxoviridae family. Its Subfamily is Paramyxovirinae and genus is Morbilli virus. The species are of Measles virus. The symptoms are red skin rashes accompanied by severe fever. This is a communicable disease and need precautions while being with the infected person. It is a curable disease and a preventable one by using measles vaccination in advance. The malnourished children of the world are mostly affected and it can be contracted at any age or time. It is predominant in the African and South East Asian countries. This contagious viral disease can be prevented by taking a Measles vaccination.

Spread and Symptoms

Measles is an air born disease by nature. It is spread by sneezing and coughing of infected persons. It is also spread through their body fluids by direct or indirect contacts. The 90% of this infection is spread through air born nature by living in the close proximity of an infected person. A few new cases can get this infection within a week’s time of contact with the Measles virus. This virus also spreads like an epidemic if not taken precautionary measures where it is spotted. The main symptoms include high fever accompanied with sore eyes and running nose. These symptoms usually appear first with the infected person. Scattered white spots develop in the mouth area before a few days of getting infected. A spontaneous dry cough will occur usually. Diarrhea and vomiting occurs after any liquid or solid food consumption. Many red splotched rashes develop within a week’s time and spread across the outer skin of the human body. The Measles virus first starts to accumulate in the throat and in lungs. It spreads all over the body within 3 to 4 days of time after getting infected.          

Prevention and Cure

Measles can be prevented by effective vaccination given to the children twice. Usually a new born is given this MMR vaccination after attaining 12 months or 1 year of age. This single vaccine gives protection from Mumps, Measles and Rubella. This MMR is also given for the 2nd time at the age of 4 to 5 years to protect totally from these infections. There is only supportive cure available to treat Measles even after taking preventive vaccinations. Many measles cases are also reported of developing pneumonia in later stage. In the initial stage, Ibuprofen is given to the infected person to reduce the body temperature to normal condition. The Bronchodilator is given to treat severe cough in the patients. The Vitamin A deficiency is the main cause of getting Measles and the patients are given Vitamin A supplements mostly. Here intake of fluids is given often to get relief from the dehydration. Antiviral drug is given for those patients who are suffering with severe Measles. The antibiotics generally reduce the infection and the splotched rashes may get well soon.

Research and Development

The MMR vaccine is so far developed to prevent Measles and is used all over the world. But even after getting vaccinated, many do develop measles in the later years. Since then, there are many research and development going on to develop an effective vaccine to prevent the Measles viral disease. A special study is also conducted for the HIV infected persons, since the antibodies to fight along with HIV require more powerful antiviral drug to get cure for an HIV AIDS patients. This mostly concerns the HIV infected newborns and appropriate measles vaccination for them. There are many lab tests and real time case studies conducted in the Measles prone areas and with the Measles infected patients to know more about this viral disease. Some cases are reported to be cured within a week’s time and many cases get further complications with this disease. A number of preventative measures are undertaken by many countries. One of them is to build awareness about the MMR vaccination. The latest research and development is the ERDRP-0519, which was effective while testing on animals. But so far green signal is not given by the FDA and W.H.O. to test on humans. It remains to be approved the FDA and W.H.O. as of now.

History of Measles

Measles is reported since the ancient times. The Roman Empire has reported it as a Zoonotic disease in between 165 AD to 185 AD. The Persian Medico named Rhazes was the first to describe it scientifically as Measles in the 8th century AD. In the medieval times, this was a major epidemic outbreak in Cuba, Mexico, Fiji, Hawaii and Central America. The total estimate of deaths due to Measles epidemics is about 5 million people before the Medieval Era. The recent Measles outbreak was seen in Japan in 2007. In 2009 the South East Asian countries were affected with this epidemic and nearly thousands of cases were reported from these regions. In 2011, a few European countries reported a small number of measles cases. The latest outbreak was seen in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. After the medieval Era there were about 200 million deaths caused by this viral disease. It was recently reported in the Indian sub continent among the children below 10 years of age.


The United Kingdom is free from the Measles infection by introducing massive Measles Vaccination Campaign. Almost all developed countries are free from Measles. The USA and Britain has declared their countries as a Measles free country since the year 2000. The under developed countries are at the highest risk where the unvaccinated populations mostly exist. The W.H.O. along with local health departments is taking effective vaccination campaigns in these under developed countries. After implementation of rapid MMR vaccination programs, underdeveloped countries have reduced number of Measles infection cases. Now it is mostly seen as an epidemic where the vaccination is totally ignored by a set of population due to ignorance or due to their remote presence. The Measles infection is now 80% preventable disease by proper immunization and educating people.