Encountering The Measles Virus Biology Essay


The measles virus was one of the common known and widely spread viruses. The measles virus was one of the most common among the children of who were affected year round. There have been over 900 thousand death related cases to the measles virus in third world countries lacking the immunization to the virus. The measles virus has similar commonality to most viruses. The measles virus can be encountered, spread, and cause damage to the human host. Luckily, the measles virus can be prevented or treated after being diagnosis.

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The encountering the measles virus was known to be transferred by aerosol transmission. The spreading of the measles virus was known to spread throughout the body by means of the respiratory system. The measles viruses were capable of weakening the lymphatic system which in turn causes a multiple amount of damage to the human body. There existed a good number of signs to help diagnose a human body infected by the measles virus. The measles virus was prevented by becoming vaccinated. Once the virus infects the human body, it would be too late to be vaccinated. There haven't been specific treatments for measles virus, but there were treatments to make the infected period bearable.


Encountering the Measles Virus

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A human body was infected by breathing in the air contaminated with the measles virus. The air breathed in was contaminated with the measles virus in a form of water vapor particles. These contaminated water vapors were not preexisting in the air before the time of the infection. The contaminated water vapors were placed into the air by means of coughing, sneezing, or by having a running nose.

Once the human body ingested the contaminated water vapors, the measles virus made its way through the human body by using the human body's respiratory system. As the measles virus traveled throughout the human body, the measles virus attacks and invades the lymphatic system causing the destruction of lymphoid tissues. Two situations occurred as the lymphoid tissues were destroyed and were termed as primary and secondary viraemia. The primary viraemia was described to be the cause of the spread of the virus throughout the body by means of the respiratory system. The secondary viraemia physically spread throughout the body affecting the bladder, kidney, and noticeably the skin.

Signs of the viral infection did not occur instantaneously, but occurred after an incubation period, which consisted of 6 - 19 days. After the incubation period, the human body developed a high fever along with a tendency of coughing and sneezing. The body expressed signs of infection physically when the human body began to experience redness in eyes, formation of white spots on the tongue of the human, or formation of the rash from the head and throughout the body. The measles virus will last up to 8 days after the first sign of the symptoms occurs.

Spreading the Measles Virus

The spreading of the measles virus was known worldwide. The mortality rate within developed counties, such as United States of America, Canada, France, England, and so forth, were within the range of less than ten per hundred thousand people. There were exceptions to the developed countries. The country, China, has a mortality rate of ten to twenty-five per hundred thousand people. The country, India, has a mortality rate of two hundred to five hundred per hundred thousand people. As the countries become less developed, the mortality rate of the measles virus become increasingly higher. The continent with the highest mortality rate was Africa. The mortality rate within the continent ranges from no data to more than two thousand per hundred thousand people with the measles virus.

Before the year of 1985, the mortality rate was at its highest. It was documented that Ireland had ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and three cases of the measles virus alone in the year of 1985. Soon after the vaccination of the measles virus was introduced, it took two years for the ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and three cases to dwindle down to two hundred and one cases. Almost a hundred percent decrease of the measles cases were performed by introducing the vaccination.

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With the help of the World Health Organization, it was known widely that the measles were the number one leading children disease with a mortality rate. A program, Measles Initiative, was launched as a vaccination campaign to help reduce the mortality rates. The program was led by a few organizations to help with the vaccination campaigns. The organizations were American Red Cross, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the United Nation Foundation, and lastly the World Health Organization.

Damages from the Measles Virus

Although the symptoms did not seem dire, there were a few existing complications that occurred when the body was attacked by the measles virus. These complications were ranged from minor damaging to something serious or fatal if not properly treated. Examples of complications, which were considered minor, were high fever because of the body trying to fight off the virus and diarrhea.

Complications, which were considered serious or fatal if not treated properly, were composed in a form of pneumonia or encephalitis. There were other complications involved such as myocarditis and thrombocytopenic purpura. Due to their still forming weak immune system, most of these serious complications were found primarily in immunocompromised patients and children.

One of the main complications found in immunocompromised patients were the measles pneumonia. There were three types of encephalitis involved with the measles virus. One of the three encephalitis involved were the acute measles encephalitis disease. The acute measles encephalitis disease occurred usually one in five thousand cases. This particular encephalitis disease developed during its prodromal stages. The second type of encephalitis was the subacute measles encephalitis. The subacute measles encephalitis was one of which occurs only in immunocompromised patients, especially in children with cancer who have gone under chemotherapy. The subacute sclerosing panenecephalitis is the last of the three types of encephalitis that were found. Athough the subacute sclerosing panenecephalitis was a rare condition; it is also a risk factor for children and young adults who have had the measles. This rare condition would occur six to eight days after the infection of the measles virus. These encephalitis complications would degenerate the CNS within the brain.

Diagnosing the Measles Virus

The diagnosis of the measles virus was very distinct physically visual. The most common symptoms possessed a fever like behavior, coughing, running nose, red like eyes, and the spreading of a rash from the head and throughout the body. These were the characteristics of the measles virus that were used to distinguish and classify the illness.

The measles viruses were possible to be microscopically determined. The measles viruses produce multinucleate cells that were gigantic and pathognomonic. The measles viruses were found in nasopharyngeal secretions during its prodrome phase. The prodrome phase was a phase during which the infection of the virus was still early. During the prodrome phase of the measles virus, the measles virus infection can be easily detected without the use of a virus isolation method.

The measles viruses were made detectable by use of an immunofluorescence. The immunofluorescences helped directly and indirectly label the measles virus antigen in the infected cell of the nasopharyngeal secretions. The use of immunofluorescences technique was only applicable two to five days after the appearance of the rash on the infected body's and only to the infected urine. This type of technique method was known to be a dangerous route to perform because the measles virus was in the urine and a healthy person was susceptible to the measles viruses if it were to be airborne.

The measles viruses were diagnosed by use of the virus isolation technique. The source, where the measles viruses were collected, held little or no importance. It was possible to collect the measles viruses from the throat, sputum, conjunctival washing, urinary sediments, or the urinary lymphocytes. Although the source where the measles virus were extracted held little importance, the best possible isolation result were found to be at its highest during the measles virus's prodrome stage, but no later than the production of the rash. The isolation was nearly impossible after the formation of rash. Since isolation was nearly impossible after the formation and development of rash, it method of the measles virus isolation is best used during a more critical case of the measles to which the patients were immunocompromised and susceptible to the more acute encephalitis and pneumonia. The more acute encephalitis and pneumonia carried the measles viruses within the lymphocytes which made it possible to detect the measles virus by use of the virus isolation technique.

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Another diagnose to the measles viruses was by use of the serology method. The serology method made use of the indication of the antibody titres increase by 4 fold between the convalescent and acute phase. The serology method also used the indication of the measles specific IgM findings. The serology method made use of the HAI, CF, neutralization, and ELISA tests. The serology methods were not very practical in its use due to their sensitivity. Thus, this fact made its use very impractical for immune status screening.

Prevention of the Measles Virus

Most measles virus cases dealt as an acute self-limiting disease. An acute self-limiting disease would tend to run its course through a human body without the need of any specific treatment.

Treatment for the Measles Virus