Pathophysiology: Measles Virus

Measles or rubella, with the scientific name of Morbillivirus measles virus is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory system. The virus is spread by contact with an infected persons saliva or mucus (Healthline, 2015). A doctor in the 9th century published the first report of measles virus (CDC, 2014). Measles is the cause of 100, 000 fatalities each year worldwide, mainly affecting children (Mayo Clinic, 2015). With a long existence and immense death rates, measles is one of the world’s most commonly dangerous viruses.
Symptoms of measles includes fever, runny nose, conjunctivitis and red blotchy skin rash the spreads over the body, although these symptoms don’t occur until approximately one and a half weeks after infection
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Paramyxoviruses are spherical shaped enveloped particles containing a non-segmented negative strand RNA genome.As seen in figure 1 on the right, the measles virus contains two glycoprotein spikes. These spikes play a very important role in the pathogenesis of the measles virus. The first is the fusion protein, seen as F on the diagram, is responsible for the fusion of the virus to the membrane of the host cell. The haemagglutinin, H, protein binds the virus to the cell (microbeonline, 2015).
The virus is transmitted by saliva or an airborne route. Firstly the virus attaches to the cell, for measles the cell that the virus attaches to is the epithelial cell in the upper respiratory tract (Infection Landscapes, 2011). The measles virus then penetrates the cells membrane and injects the nucleic acid RNA into the cell. The host cell engulfs the virus by a process known as Endocytosis, as the cell responds to foreign particle. The new viral nucleic acids are packaged into the viral particles and are then released from the cell (Schmoop,
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The main issue regarding the measles virus is personal beliefs. It is a choice for an individual to vaccinate themselves and their children. Many people’s beliefs that vaccines cause illness is what has led to the continuation of the virus. When one person is not vaccinated they can contract the disease and hence spread it.
3rd world countries alarmingly high death toll rates due to the lack of immunization, According to UNICEF, the death toll rates in Africa is so high that every minute one child dies. More than 30 million children are not immunized against fatal viruses such as measles because these vaccines are not available and the health services in these countries are not accessible (UNICEF, 2015).
The elimination of measles globally will most likely demand new vaccine developments. The injection of vaccines requires needles, which is a major issue, as it requires extremely safe handling and disposal.
The most important drawback however is the fact those most at risk of measles children in the first 10 months of life and pregnant woman, have poor immunogenicity. Because their immune system is underdeveloped or weak their response to the virus is not as hoped, this calls for a new development of the

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