Measles, virus. Signs, symptoms and consequences of the disease

Until recently, doctors began to think that measles could soon be defeated - a virus that, with its 100% susceptibility, caused epidemics for hundreds of years and was the main cause of death for young children. The World Health Organization has already managed to achieve a 20-fold reduction in mortality from this disease and planned to completely eliminate the risks of infection in several subordinate regions by 2020.

measles virus

But humanity does not seek easy ways. The wholesale fashion among young mothers to refuse vaccination, propaganda of the imaginary danger of this procedure and the simple irresponsible attitude of young parents to protecting their children, the lack of funds for free vaccinations from the governments of many states all put the health and lives of kids and adults around the world at risk.

What is measles

This disease was known back in antiquity. In the ninth century, a detailed clinical description of the disease was compiled. But until the 20th century, what causes measles-a virus or a bacterium-nobody knew. D. Goldberger and A. Enderson in 1911 were able to prove that the disease causes a virus, and in 1954 T. Peebles and D. Enders isolated an RNA virus that has a special shape of a sphere with a size of 120230 nm and belongs to the family of paramyxoviruses.

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How can I get infected

The measles virus has almost 100 percent contagiosity. A person who does not have immunity to this disease( who was not vaccinated and had not previously been sick) practically has no chance of not becoming infected in case of contact with the patient.

measles virus

Infection from a sick person through the environment is transmitted to everyone around. Ill with the measles virus from the last days of the incubation period( two days before the onset of the rash) and the next four days, during the respiration, coughing and sneezing( airborne).Further through the cells of the nasopharyngeal mucosa and the respiratory tract, it penetrates into the blood and affects the lymph nodes, blood capillaries( white blood cells).The rash appears as a result of death of the capillary cells. Further, the syndrome of secondary immunodeficiency develops, and bacterial complications are also often encountered.

measles virus microbiology

It should be noted that the measles virus exciter can not survive long in the open air, objects and clothing. Although there are registered cases of infection through the ventilation system. He dies at room temperature on average after two hours, and after thirty minutes completely loses the ability to infect. Instantly, the virus dies when exposed to ultraviolet radiation and at high temperatures. Therefore, during the epidemic, there is no need to disinfect the premises.

Who can get sick and when

The main victims of measles are small children between the ages of two and five. Also, I increasingly register cases of adolescents aged 15-17.

Adults are infected with measles much less often. But most likely, this is due to the fact that in the adult age, there is already immunity from vaccination or from a previous illness.

igg level to measles virus

It is impossible to recur again measles. Registered cases can be regarded as erroneous diagnosis in the first disease or a serious violation in the work of the human immune system.

In Russia, the greatest number of cases is observed in the spring-winter period, from the end of November to May, with a frequency every two to four years.

Can an infant become sick

Newborns have a stable borrowed immunity from their mothers during the first three months of life if she has had an earlier illness. Immunity in children, whose mothers were not ill and were not vaccinated, no, and they can get sick. It is also possible to infect an infant during childbirth during a mother's illness.

Incubation period

Like most diseases, it has a period of incubation in the body and measles. The virus does not exert itself externally for 7-17 days. At this time, starting from the 3 day of the incubation period, only through a detailed analysis can one find in the spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes typical large multinucleate cells. The symptoms of the disease appear externally only after the virus has multiplied in the lymph nodes and enters the blood.

Measles virus: symptoms of

  • a sharp rise in temperature to 38-40.5 degrees;
  • dry cough;
  • photophobia;
  • headache;
  • hoarseness or hoarseness;
  • impaired consciousness, delirium;
  • disorders in the intestine;
  • swelling of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract;
  • symptoms of conjunctivitis: edema of the eyelids, redness around the eyes;
  • appearance of red spots in the mouth - on the palate, the inner surface of the cheeks;
  • on the second day of the disease, small white spots appear on the oral mucosa;
  • itself exanthema appears on the fourth to fifth day, characteristic of its appearance on the face and neck, behind the ears, then on the body and on the folds of the hands, feet, fingers, palms and feet.

measles virus symptoms

Rolett rash is a special papule, surrounded by a stain and tending to merge( this is what distinguishes it from rubella, in which the rash has no property to merge).After the fourth day of rashes, when the virus is defeated, the rash gradually comes off: it darkens, pigmented, begins to peel off. Hyper-pigmented areas with a rash will remain for another 1-2 weeks.

Measles in children

One of the most common and most dangerous childhood diseases is measles. The virus most often affects children of preschool and primary school age.

Before the production of vaccines in Russia started and a free prevention program started, every fourth child died from this virus and its complications on average. Today, vaccinations are made to all relatively healthy children in one year and at six years( according to the national vaccination calendar).If the child is not vaccinated, the risks of getting sick with a carrier of infection reach one hundred percent. The vaccinated children either do not get sick at all, or they tolerate the disease very easily.

The incubation period in an infected child may vary and averages from 10 to 15 days. At this time, there are no symptoms of the disease, but two days before the manifestation of the clinical picture the child will be contagious to others.

Most of the time the children get sick heavily. First signs of usual acute respiratory viral infection( ARVI) appear:

  • temperature 38-40 degrees;
  • severe dry cough;
  • runny nose;
  • weakness;
  • lack of appetite;
  • is a bad dream.

On the 3rd-5th day of the disease, a rash begins to appear - small pink, merging spots. In children, it occurs quickly and spreads throughout the body. During the appearance of a rash, the temperature after a seemingly visible improvement may begin to rise again.

In children from two to five years old, measles are especially dangerous. The child organism, which has not yet matured, is slowly coping with the virus and because of the attached bacterial infection complications often occur:

  • otitis;
  • bronchial pneumonia;
  • blindness;
  • encephalitis;
  • severe inflammation of the lymph nodes;
  • laryngitis.

It is because of these complications that it is so important to show the doctor to the doctor in time and to monitor the course of the illness. Complications often begin to manifest after a time after the child has recovered.

Measles in adults

Measles in adults - a rare disease. But if a person already gets infected, problems can not be avoided. Adults after 20 years of age are ill for a long time. The acute period of the disease can last up to two weeks. Most often, the disease causes various complications, as well as the likelihood of joining a bacterial infection.

Types of complications in adults:

  • bacterial pneumonia;
  • measles pneumonia;
  • otitis media;
  • tracheobronchitis;
  • disorders in the central nervous system;
  • laryngitis;
  • croup( laryngeal stenosis);
  • hepatitis;
  • lymphadenitis( inflammation of the lymph nodes);
  • inflammation of the membranes of the brain - meningoencephalitis( 40% of cases of which end in a lethal outcome).

measles virus or bacterium

Thus, we understand that measles, whose virus is generally considered to be dangerous only for children, can cause serious illness in adults and even lead to disability or death.

Measles in pregnant women

It's easy to guess that a disease that causes so many problems can not easily flow in a pregnant woman. But the greatest experiences of the future mother cause problems for the baby. And not in vain.

Measles, the more dangerous for the fetus, the shorter the gestation period. In the first trimester a woman with a probability of up to 20% will have a spontaneous miscarriage, or worse, the disease will lead to serious malformations of the fetus( oligophrenia, nervous system damage, etc.).Unfortunately, it is simply impossible to identify these defects in early ultrasound studies of the fetus and even at the first screening, and women are often asked to have an abortion.

If the pregnant woman is sick after the sixteenth week, the prognosis is much more comforting. At this time, the placenta has matured enough to fully protect the fetus from the mother's ailment, so the probability of problems for a future child is quite low.

The danger appears again if the mother is sick before giving birth. Moreover, she herself simply will not have enough strength for the birth because of the virus, and the risks of infecting a child during passage through the birth canal are very high. Of course, doctors today have all the means to save the life of the baby: both resuscitation, and potent antibiotics. And most likely, the child will be cured. But why risk so much if there is an opportunity to protect yourself and the child in advance? To pass the analysis on antibodies to a measles virus it is necessary for each woman even before the beginning of planning of pregnancy. After all, if you take care of your health now and get vaccinated in time, there will simply be no chance of getting sick during pregnancy.

Diagnostic methods

Most often, the diagnosis is made on the basis of clinical data after the appearance of a characteristic measles rash. But it is possible to diagnose the laboratory before( or confirm it) by determining where the measles virus is located. Microbiology allows you to isolate from the blood, mucus of the oral cavity and nose, urine cells of the virus in the first day of the disease( even before the onset of the rash) and even at the end of the incubation period. Under a special microscope, one can consider characteristic glowing, with inclusions, giant oval-shaped cells.

In addition, the patient may be assigned:

  • a general analysis of urine and blood to exclude the attachment of bacterial infection and the development of complications;
  • specific blood test for the detection of antibodies( serological analysis for IgG against measles virus);
  • chest X-ray or fluorography for suspected development of measles pneumonia.

But in most cases, the diagnosis of the disease does not cause difficulties for the doctor and is performed without the appointment of additional tests.

How to determine the level of IgG to the measles virus

After contact with a sick measles, each person starts to remember whether he is vaccinated himself or, maybe, was sick in childhood. And if I overlooked, missed and did not inoculate my own child in time? How can I find out? There are also risks that the vaccine was stored incorrectly, and then such a tender virus could die before it was introduced into the body.

Now in each laboratory it is possible to carry out the analysis for antibodies to the measles virus( IgG).This method allows one hundred percent to verify whether a person has immunity to this disease.

Treatment of

There is no specific treatment for measles virus. As with all viral infections, the doctor will treat symptomatic, relieve the condition and prevent the risks of complications. Usually designate:

  • medications that reduce temperature and relieve general malaise, pain, fever( Ibuprofen, Paracetamol);
  • aerosols against inflammation and rinse throat with chamomile, "Chlorhexidine";
  • mucolytics and expectorants from dry cough;
  • for the removal of symptoms of rhinitis and reducing the risk of otitis media - vasoconstrictive drops in the nose( up to 5 days) and rinsing with saline solution;
  • for the removal of irritation and itching from the rash is prescribed rinsing with "Dilaxin";
  • for the treatment of conjunctivitis - "Albucid" and "Levomycetin";
  • to reduce the risk of developing blindness patients are recommended to take vitamin A during the whole period of illness;
  • in the case of pneumonia is prescribed antibiotics.

Attention! In the treatment of measles, in no case should you use "Aspirin", especially when treating children under 16.This can lead to the development of Ray's syndrome - hepatic encephalopathy.


At the age of one year, all children receive free vaccination from the three most dangerous childhood infections( measles, rubella, parotitis).Revaccination for these diseases is carried out at the age of 5-6 years, before the school. Doctors say that this vaccine is well tolerated by children, especially since they make it only healthy children, so the risks of receiving side reactions are minimal.

antibodies to measles virus igg

One can easily make sure that the vaccine has worked. To do this, you need to pass a special analysis after some time after the injection. Antibodies to measles virus are present in the event that the immunity after vaccination is developed.