Measles is caused by a morbillivirus of the paramyxovirus family. Early symptoms include the onset of fever, malaise (aches and pains), coryza (head cold), conjunctivitis (red eyes) and cough.
The most common complications of measles include pneumonia, ear infection, diarrhoea and convulsions. Rarely, measles can cause encephalitis and death.
Measles is a notifiable disease in England and Wales. Health professionals must inform local health protection teams of suspected cases.
Measles is vaccine preventable. In the UK children receive 2 doses of the combined measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule.