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Measles: Origins, Symptoms, Treatment Essay

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Updated: Apr 22nd, 2022


Measles is a communicable disease that is caused by the measles virus which attacks part of the respiratory system. Measles virus is found in genus morbilivirus, making it be classified as rinder pest virus, an agent found in the cattle. According to Bar-On, Ochshorn, and Many (2010), the measles virus originated from surroundings where people had greater interaction with the cattle.

Historical occurrence

In the 9th century, an Arab physician discovered this disease. In addition, in 1954, Thomas C. Peebles came up with another discovery of the measles virus in Boston, Massachusetts. However, as indicated by Pomeroy, Bjornstad, and Holmes (2008), the year 1957 presented some new information regarding the case. It is during that period when Francis Home, a Scottish physician, after blood tests of different patients found the measles virus in some of the blood samples. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009), before the measles vaccines were introduced, most cases of the measles virus had been found in children below the age of 15 years.

Measles virus-host

The measles virus is found in human beings who are the key hosts of the disease. Especially, it concerns children below the age of 15. However, Bar-On, Ochshorn, and Many (2010) found out that most of the children without vaccination are at higher chances of getting infected.


The presence of the measles virus in the body can be proven by various symptoms. As Pomeroy, Bjornstad, and Holmes (2008) indicate, the most common symptoms include severe fever, continuous coughing, high sneezing, a watery nose, sore throats, and sore eyes. The disappearance of these symptoms gives way to tiny red spots in the inner layer of the mouth and then the appearance of rashes in the body.

The course of measles infective action

Bar-On, Ochshorn, and Many (2010) provide that children below the age of 15, who have not undergone the immunization process, are at higher risks of getting the measles virus. It is transmitted from an infected person through droplets of the person’s mouth or nose. Almost 90% of the population, which has not undergone immunization, and lives in the same surrounding as the infected person is at a higher chance of getting infected with measles.


In most cases, the illness of measles lacks definite treatment. The measles virus becomes ineffective in the children when they get enough rest. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009) provide that the use of the liquid paracetamol helps in fighting fever and pains in the children below the age of 16. All the children above twelve months greatly benefit from a teaspoon of lemon juice, while those below that age benefit from two teaspoons of honey mixed with a glass of warm water.

To destroy any bacteria, which develop during the measles period, the use of antibiotics could be considered as effective treatment method. Sudfeld, Navar, and Halsey (2010) recognized that certain supplements help in fighting opportunistic diseases. For example, the use of vitamin A on infected children keeps away all possible diseases associated with measles.

Long-term prognosis for repeat flare-ups of measles

Although measles can lead to death in the children below the age of five years, most of the children in the world still survive this disease. As indicated by Sudfeld, Navar, and Halsey (2010), measles virus sometimes stays in the body for a long time, which can result in another type of the measles known as exanthema measles. The exanthema creates a pathway for the acute measles encephalitis which is a risky measles virus illness accompanied with severe headache and extreme fever. This type of measles is dangerous and in most cases it leads to brain injury and death.


Bar-On, S., Ochshorn, Y., & Many, A. (2010). Detection of measles virus by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in a placenta. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 23(8), 935-937.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0 through 18 years—United States, 2009. CDC Recommended Vaccine Schedule. 57, 51-52.

Pomeroy, L.W., Bjornstad, O. N., & Holmes, E. C. (2008). The evolutionary and epidemiological dynamics of the paramyxoviridae. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 66, 98-106.

Sudfeld, C. R., Navar A. M., & Halsey N. A. (2010). Effectiveness of measles vaccination and vitamin A treatment. Int J Epidemiol, 48–55.

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