Measles (Red)

Description of virus that causes the disease.

  • Caused by a virus called a paramyxovirus

  • Enveloped, non-segmented, RNA viruses with helical symmetry

Micrograph of Measle Virus

Diagram of Measle Virus

Viral Specificity:

  • Starts in the upper/lower respiratory tract, followed by replication in lymphoid tissues leading to vermia and growth in a varitey of epithetical sites

  • The virus can also spread to:

- Lymph glands

- Bone marrow

- Liver

- Eyes

- Thymus

- Tonsils

- Spleen

- Skin

- Brain

Symptoms and progression of the disease:

  • Ist Symptoms:

- feeling very ill

- high fever

- harse dry cough

- runny nose

- red puffy eyes that are sensitive to light

  • Appears 7-18 days after exposure to someone with red Measles

  • About 3-4 days after the 1st symptoms, the rash will appear starting with face, then spreading downward towards the body, arms and legs

  • Fades in 4-7 days

  • Complications:

- Pneumonia

- Encepalitis (inflammation of the brain)

- Deafness

- Blindness

- Retardation

- Middle ear infection

- Diarrhea

- Seizures

  • The period between measles transmission and the start of symptoms is called the incubation period

  • A person is not contagious during the incubation period

Common Methods of Transmission:

  • Measles are highly contagious

  • Sneezing, coughing or talking, spray droplets into the air

  • Droplets remain active and contagious for up to two hours

Treatment and Prevention (if any):

  • There is no specifc treatment for Measles

  • Bedrest is reccomended

  • It can be prevented with a vaccine

  • A person is immune to Measles permanently after getting it once


  • Throughout the history of Measles, the disease was an expected life event

  • Measles can be found as far back as the 7th century A.D

  • The number of Measles changed dramatically when the vaccine became available

  • The number of cases dropped by 99%

  • The word "Measle" comes from the German word "blister"

Resources accessed:

Author of Article: Department of Health
Title of Article: Measles (rubeola, hard measles, red measles)
Author of Article: Alberta Health Service
Title of Article: Red Measles (rubeola)
Author of Article: Body and Health
Title of Article: Measles (rubeola, morbilli, red measles)
Author of Article: eMed TV
Title of Article: Measles Article A-Z