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Hilton C. Whittle

, and Peter Aaby

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date: 07 March 2021

Measles is a single-stranded RNA virus that is spread by aerosolized droplets and is highly transmissible. It causes a spectrum of disease ranging from mild in the well-nourished to severe in the malnourished or immunosuppressed: mortality is 3–10% in Africa. At around 10–14 days after infection, the viral prodrome typically consists of runny nose and fever, sometimes also diarrhoea or convulsions; signs include mild conjunctivitis, red mucosae, and (on the buccal mucosa) Koplik’s spots. After 14–18 days a morbilliform rash first appears on the forehead and neck, then spreads to involve the trunk and finally the limbs. Other manifestations include severe conjunctivitis (especially in those who are vitamin A deficient), pneumonitis and enteritis (which may cause profuse diarrhoea).

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