Measles, known from the early ages, is caused by a paramyxovirus.
A Persian colleague named Rhazes (854-925 A.D.) was likely the first to distinguish smallpox from measles, this milder disease getting the name “morbilli” (little disease) from the Latin word morbus (disease).
Being one of the most contagious infections, a measles-infected individual may on average transmit the virus to 12-18 susceptible persons from 3-4 days before to soon after first clinical symptoms appear.
Essentially only Man’s (and some monkey species’) disease, measles is potentially eradicable by vaccination, provided vaccine uptake exceeds 95 % for a long enough time. This remains a challenge, and we likely will continue to have measles with us for a long time.