What is the role of measles virus in the etiology of viral pneumonia?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Answer

Measles virus is a member of the Paramyxoviridae family and the genus Morbillivirus. It is a single-stranded RNA virus contained within a nucleocapsid and surrounded by an envelope. Measles is a respiratory tract virus that causes a febrile illness with rash in children. Mild pneumonia often occurs but is usually of no consequence in healthy adults.

Measles may result in severe lower respiratory tract infection and high morbidity in hosts who are immunocompromised and malnourished. This virus is highly contagious and is transmitted from person to person by droplets. The incubation period is 10-14 days and peaks in late winter and early spring.


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