Causes, Risk Factors, And Complications Of Measles

Measles or rubeola is a contagious childhood infection caused by a virus. Symptoms of measles do not appear in an infected individual until between ten to fourteen days after they are initially exposed. Symptoms begin with a mild fever that may or may not manifest with flu-like symptoms including dry cough, runny nose, and a sore throat. As the infection progresses, a rash of slightly raised, small red spots appears on the affected individual’s skin. Usually, the face breaks out in this rash first, and Koplik’s spots appear in the mouth. The rash spreads across the arms, down the trunk, and onto the thighs, legs, and feet. Once the rash has spread over the body, the patient will spike a fever between 104 and 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no measles cure, so treatment is carried out with fever reducers, antibiotics, and vitamin A. Various risk factors, causes, and complications can affect a patient’s measles outcome. Learn about them now.

Viral Infection

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Measles is an infection caused by a virus called Rubeola. The Rubeola virus has the ability to live for two hours in the air and on surfaces once an infected individual has sneezed, coughed, or touched it. Others contract the virus when they touch the infected surface and make contact with their noses, mouths, and eyes, or when they breathe in the contaminated particles in the air. This viral infection then invades the individual’s respiratory tract and colonizes in the mucus of the throat and nose. An infected individual can spread measles to unvaccinated others anywhere from four days prior to the rash emergence to four days following the appearance of the rash. There is no known medication that can kill the virus in the same way antibiotics do for bacterial infections. The patient’s body has to fight off the virus with or without the help of supportive treatment methods. Measles can cause serious health problems, particularly for those who are under five years old. One in every four individuals affected by measles is hospitalized in the United States. Once an individual has had this particular viral infection, they will not contract it again in their lifetime.

Keep reading for more on the risk factors linked to measles now.