Measles is a childhood infection caused by a type of virus called a paramyxovirus that replicates in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult.
Measles signs and symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus which typically include:
Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
Vitamin A supplementation
Isolation and maintenance of hygiene
There’s no specific treatment for an established measles infection. However, some measures can be taken to protect vulnerable individuals who have been exposed to the virus.
- Post-exposure vaccination. Non-Immunized people, including infants, may be given the measles vaccination within 72 hours of exposure to the measles virus to provide protection against the disease.
- Immune serum globulin. Pregnant women, infants and people with weakened immune systems who are exposed to the virus may receive an injection of proteins (antibodies) called immune serum globulin.
Risk factors for measles include:
- Being unvaccinated. If you haven’t received the vaccine for measles, you’re much more likely to develop the disease.
- Traveling internationally. If you travel to developing countries, where measles is more common, you’re at higher risk of catching the disease.
- Having a vitamin A deficiency. If you don’t have enough vitamin A in your diet, you’re more likely to have more-severe symptoms and complications.