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Measles

13 Feb 2012
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Image source: CDC/Dr. Heinz F. Eichenwald; Wikimedia Commons – Measles

OVERVIEW

Measles is a highly infectious respiratory virus stemming from the paramyxovirus group that can be spread through coughing, sneezing and touching contaminated surfaces. Usually contracted during childhood, measles causes flu-like symptoms and a rash on the body.

Causes
  • Contact with the rubeola virus

 

Symptoms

Initial symptoms of measles can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes and light sensitivity to light

 

Following these initial symptoms, the following symptoms are likely to appear:

  • Red, blotchy rash will appear on the body
  • Spots or blisters on hands and feet
  • White spots inside the cheeks

 

Treatment
  • Rest
  • Paracetamol to relieve pain
  • Hydration
  • Severe cases may require antibiotic treatment

 

Children under the age of five, adults and those with chronic illnesses are more at risk of developing complications from measles. These can include: otitis media, diarrhoea, vomiting, pneumonia, encephalitis and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.

A vaccination is available for measles (MMR) and, according to figures, is 99 per cent effective in preventing the virus.

 

For more information about getting your child immunised, see:
Healthpages – Child Health Services
Kidshealth.org.nz – MMR immunisation
Immunisation Advisory Centre – Measles

 

For measles outbreak updates, see: Ministry of Health – Updates: Measles.

 

VIDEOS

 


Video: NHS – Measles

 

 


Video: Dr Samuel Katz – What is Measles?

 

RESOURCES & SUPPORT

Local

Ministry of Health – Measles
Kidshealth.org.nz – Measles
Immunisation Advisory Council – Measles
DermNet NZ – Measles

 

International

NHS – Measles
Health Protection Agency UK
Better Health Channel, Australia – Measles
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention US

 

RESEARCH

British Medical Journal
Journal of the American Medical Association
The Lancet

 

FORUMS

eHealth Forum – Measles
MDJuntion – Measles Forum

 

 

DISCLAIMER
The information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic, with links to local and international resources that may be of interest.  We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.

You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your general practitioner first.

 

 

Updated April 2012
Image source: Wikimedia Commons – Measles