H.C. Whittle and P. Aaby

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks


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  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
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Measles is a single-stranded RNA virus that is spread by aerosolized droplets and is highly transmissible. It causes a spectrum of disease ranging from mild in the well nourished to severe in the malnourished or immunosuppressed: mortality is 3 to 10% in Africa.

Clinical features—10 to 14 days after infection the viral prodrome typically consists of runny nose and fever, sometimes also diarrhoea or convulsions; signs include mild conjunctivitis, red mucosae, and (on the buccal mucosa) Koplik’s spots. After 14 to 18 days a morbilliform rash first appears on the forehead and neck, then spreads to involve the trunk and finally the limbs. Other manifestations include severe conjunctivitis (especially in those who are vitamin-A deficient), pneumonitis and enteritis (which may cause profuse diarrhoea). Early complications include (1) pneumonia—caused by ...

Chapter.  7252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Infectious Diseases

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