Measles: An acute and highly contagious viral
disease characterized by fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and a
spreading skin rash. Measles, also known as rubeola, is a potentially
disastrous disease. It can be complicated by ear infections,
pneumonia, encephalitis (which can cause convulsions, mental
retardation, and even death), the sudden onset of low blood platelet
levels with severe bleeding (acute thrombocytopenic purpura), or a
chronic brain disease that occurs months to years after an attack of
measles (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis).

During pregnancy,
exposure to the measles virus may trigger miscarriage or premature

Treatment includes rest, calamine lotion or other anti-
itching preparations to soothe the skin, non-aspirin pain relievers
for fever, and in some cases antibiotics. Measles can often be
prevented through vaccination. Also known as hard measles, seven-day
measles, eight-day measles, nine-day measles, ten-day measles,

See also measles encephalitis; measles immunization;
measles syndrome, atypical; MMR.

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