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Rubeola (Measles)

A highly contagious viral infection caused by the measles virus. Symptoms appear 8-12 days after exposure and include a rash, cough, fever and muscle pains that can last 4-7 days. NIH - National Cancer Institute

About Measles

The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.

Measles typically begins with

Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.

Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person's fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.

After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades. CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Immunogenicity and safety of measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Wu YM, Li G, Zhao WL.  Immunogenicity and safety of measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2010; 10(7): 862-868

Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders among children: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Hobson KA, Mateu PF, Coryn CL, Graves C.  Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders among children: a meta-analysis. World Medical and Health Policy 2012; 4(2): 5 Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1515/1948-4682.1225/abstract

Immunogenicity and safety of aerosolized measles vaccine: systematic review and meta-analysis

Aerosols are the most promising non-injectable method of measles vaccination studied so far and their efficacy is thought to be comparable to injected vaccine. We conducted a systematic review up to May 2006 to examine the immunogenicity and safety of aerosolized measles vaccine (Edmonston-Zagreb or Schwarz strains) 1 month or more after vaccination. Where possible we estimated pooled serological response rates and odds ratios (with 95% confidence intervals, CI) comparing aerosolized and subcutaneous vaccines in children in three age groups and adults. We included seven randomized trials, four non-randomized trials and six uncontrolled studies providing serological outcome data on 2887 individuals. In children below 10 months, the studies were heterogeneous. In four comparative studies, seroconversion rates were lower with aerosolized than with subcutaneous vaccine and in two of these the difference was unlikely to be due to chance. In children 10-36 months, the pooled seroconversion rate with aerosolized vaccine was 93.5% (89.4-97.7%) and 97.1% (92.4-100%) with subcutaneous vaccine (odds ratio 0.27, 0.04-1.62). In 5-15-year olds the studies were heterogeneous. In all comparative studies aerosolized vaccine was more immunogenic than subcutaneous. Reported side effects were mild. Aerosolized measles vaccine appears to be equally or more immunogenic than subcutaneous vaccine in children aged 10 months and older. Large randomized trials are needed to establish the efficacy and safety of aerosolized measles vaccine as primary and booster doses.

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Summaries for consumers

Vitamin A for non‐measles pneumonia in children

Acute respiratory infections, mostly in the form of pneumonia, are the leading cause of death in children under five years of age living in low‐income countries. Vitamin A supplementation has been found to reduce mortality and the severity of respiratory infections in children with measles. This updated review was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of vitamin A adjunctive therapy in children with non‐measles respiratory infections, particularly pneumonia.

Chinese medicinal herbs for measles

Measles (rubeola) is an infectious disease caused by multiplication of a single‐strand ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus of the genus Morbillivirus in the upper respiratory tract and conjunctiva. It can lead to serious complications and death. Chinese herbal medicines are believed to be effective in alleviating symptoms and shortening the duration of measles, and are widely used as the main or adjunctive therapy to treat measles in China and other countries.

Zinc supplementation for the treatment of measles in children

Measles infection has reduced globally over the last decade but large outbreaks still occur, especially in low‐income countries. Zinc is one of the essential micronutrients necessary for the optimal functioning of the immune system. Zinc deficiency is particularly common in children in low‐ and middle‐income countries. It is therefore important to examine the potential role of zinc supplementation in controlling the symptoms of measles infection in children.

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More about Rubeola

Photo of a child

Also called: Morbilli, Red measles

See Also: Conjunctivitis

Other terms to know:
Viral Infections

Related articles:
Measles Vaccine
Fever in Children

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