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Measles


Measles a highly contagious acute disease characterized by fever, general malaise, sneezing, nasal congestion and spots on the buccal mucosa, causing death or suffering, specially among the children of the Third World. Measles has been recognized since the seventh country. In the Third World, it kills nearly 1.5 million children annually.

Measles is caused by morbillivirus, an RNA paramyxovirus, which is responsible for hemagglutination, hemolysis, cell fusion etc. The incubation period for measles is 10-14 days and may be somewhat longer in adults. Transmission of the measles virus occurs mainly by droplet infection and droplet nuclei. The portal of entry is the respiratory tract. Infection through conjunctiva is also considered likely. Measles in the children of Bangladesh is often severe, prolonged and carries a high mortality rate due to secondary infections. Only vaccines can prevent measles related death. There is no anti-viral therapy for measles. In the absence of complication bed rest is the essence of treatment. [Shamim Jubayer]

See also hepatitis; vaccination; whooping cough.