Measles is a highly contagious air-borne viral disease that can cause serious complications and death. Children under five years of age, adults over 20 years of age, pregnant people, and people with immunocompromised health are most at risk of measles complications. 

Measles infection causes a rash to appear, alongside high fevers, diarrhea, coughing, runny nose, eye and ear infections. Someone who is infected can spread the disease to other people before noticing any symptoms, especially in the four days before and after the rash develops. 

In severe cases, measles causes children’s brains to swell, leading to seizures, deafness, cognitive disability, and possibly death. About 1 in every 20 children with measles also contracts pneumonia, the top cause of pediatric death from measles, a serious respiratory illness. Measles even causes immune system weakening that can last weeks to years. A suppressed immune system increases the risk of infection due to secondary bacterial and other infections.

Added February 27, 2024