Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Measles is a viral infection that is well known for causing a rash and fever. In some cases more serious complications such as inflammation of the brain, pneumonia and even death can also occur.

Cause Of Measles
Measles is caused by a Paramyxovirus which is highly contagious and is easily spread through inhalation of infected airborne particles, such as from close contact with somebody infected sneezing, talking or coughing.

Symptoms of Measles
The measles virus has an incubation period of around 7 to 14 days. The most common symptoms of measles is a rash which often appears on the patients face a few days after the initial symptoms begin and then spreads to the upper and lower parts of the body, other symptoms often include:

Complications that can follow can include:

Preventing Measles
Measles can be vaccinated against with the MMR vaccine which combines Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Anyone who has already had the measles virus or a MMR vaccine is unlikely to catch the virus again. If you or your child has measles stay at home for at least a week to prevent the virus from being spread.

Diagnosing Measles
Diagnosis is achieved through an examination of the symptoms by your doctor.

Treatment for Measles
Pregnant women and young children should seek medical attention, however in the majority of cases treatment can simply involve drinking plenty of fluids, resting and if necessary pain relief.

Most At Risk From Measles
Pregnant women are at risk of either miscarriage or passing the virus on to their child which can cause several birth defects. Young children under the age of 5 are also at a high risk if they have not had an MMR vaccine as is anyone who has not had measles in the past or had a vaccine.