What Are the Complications of Measles?

Measles was first described in the 9th century by an Arab physician. In 1757, Francis Home, a Scottish physician showed that measles was an infectious disease found in patient’s blood. The virus was isolated by Drs. John Enders and Thomas Peebles in Boston in 1954. In 1963, the first live virus vaccine for measles was licensed in the US.

Measles is caused by a paramyxovirus that replicates in the oral pharynx and lungs and is spread by respiratory secretions. The incubation period is 8-12 days. Clinically measles causes erythematous macules and papules that first appears on the lateral and posterior neck, and that progresses to involve the face, trunk and extremities (spreading distally). The rash fades in the same direction. Cough, coryza, Koplik spots and fever also occ…