Rubeola (also known as measles) is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory system, immune system, and skin. It is caused by a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. The disease kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5.
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Rubeola (Measles) Virus
Measles is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable childhood mortality. The classic signs and symptoms of measles include a high fever, coughing, conjunctivitis and a characteristic rash. Symptoms usually develop 7–14 days after exposure and 3 out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, encephalitis and death. There is no specific treatment for measles although in developed countries, children are immunized against measles at 12 months old as part of a three-part Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. A recent increase in measles worldwide has been driven by unvaccinated people spreading the disease into countries where it was once declared eliminated. Measles is extremely infectious and among unimmunized people exposed to the virus, over 90% will contract the disease.
Measles-specific IgM detection using ELISA indirect capture methods or measles IgM capture are the standard tests for rapid laboratory diagnosis of measles. However, in regions where endemic measles has been eliminated, additional diagnostic assays are used to confirm measles cases irrespective of vaccination status. IgG avidity testing has proved useful in cases that require additional methods, such as suspected false negatives or false positives.
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