MEASLES, also called rubeola, is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. It causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. Measles is the most deadly of all childhood rash or fever illnesses. Measles spreads through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. Since this disease is highly contagious, it is especially important to reduce its spread. MMR or MMRV vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles.
According to the CDC, about 30 percent of measles cases develop one or more complications, including:
• Pneumonia, which is the complication that is most often the cause of death in young children.
• Ear infections occur in about 1 in 10 measles cases and permanent loss of hearing can result.
• Diarrhea is reported in about 8 percent of cases.
These complications are more common among children under 5 years of age and adults over 20 years old.
Measles: Questions and Answers (101 KB)