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Explainer: Measles

5 years ago24 views

As a measles epidemic with nearly 900 confirmed cases sweeps through Wales, the post-mortem of a 25-year-old Swansea man is expected to find the virus was responsible for his death.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus spread through contact with an infected person or, more commonly, via droplet transmission.

This animation explains the symptoms and how the disease is transmitted.

In eight to 15 days infected patients show cold and flu symptoms followed by a rash which begins on the head and spreads to the extremities.

Inside the mouth, white lesions called Koplick's spots appear, but fade as the rash develops.

Most people recover, but in about one in 15 cases complications can arise.

These include infections of the ear, bronchitis, pneumonia and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

Doctors warn that up to 2 million unvaccinated children in the UK could be at risk and are urging parents to safeguard their children with the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

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