• 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.