measles
MEASLES
Measles, also known as rubeola, is a highly contagious disease caused by the measles virus Morbillivirus.
It is characterized by generalized maculopapular rash, fever, cough, rhinitis and conjunctivitis. Transmission is through respiratory tract or conjunctivae following contact with droplet aerosols.
It is highly communicable from 4 days before the rash up to 4 days after its onset.
The incubation period from exposure to prodrome averages 7-21 days.

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis is based on clinical findings in the absence of measles outbreak

Laboratory Tests

  • CBC may reveal leukopenia & lymphopenia, absolute neutropenia may also occur
  • Serologic tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis
    • A single elevated IgM level is indicative of recent infection; IgM antibody appears in 75% of cases w/in 3 days after emergence of rashes, increases up to 100% after 7 days, & remains detectable for about 1-2 mth
    • A 4-fold rise in IgG levels in acute & convalescent specimens may also be used; 1st specimen is drawn soon after the onset of rash, 2nd specimen is taken 10-30 days later

Complications

  • Croup, tracheitis, bronchiolitis, acute otitis media, pneumonia
  • Acute encephalitis
    • May present w/ fever, headache, changes in sensorium; usually occur 2-6 days after the appearance of rash
  • Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis
    • Incubation period of 7-10 yr
    • Result from persistent CNS infection; more likely to develop in males
    • Presents w/ gradual deterioration in intellectual & behavioral function
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