Measles is an acute highly infectious disease. It affects infants and children. The causative agent is an RNA paramyxo virus.
Measles is characterized by a sudden onset of high fever. There may be sneezing, nasal discharge, cough, redness of eyes and photophobia. Later Koplik's spots appear in the buckle mucosa. This is followed by typical maculopapular rash in 3 to 5 days. The rash begins behind the ear. It spreads to the face, neck and then the whole body.
Source of infection is a case of measles. Infective material is secretions of nose, throat and respiratory tract. Transmission occurs by droplet infection and droplet nuclei. The route of entry is reparatory tract.
Control and prevention
Control measures are:
1) isolation of the patient for 7 days after the rash appears
2) immunization of contacts within 2 days of exposure
3) prompt immunization at the beginning of epidemic.
Prevention is by measles vaccination. It is given at 9 months of age.