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Causes of Measles

It’s important to know more about what causes measles so you can take action before the disease has a chance to spread. This blog post will cover some of the most common causes of measles.

  • 11 Oct 2023
  • 2 min read

Measles is an airborne viral infection that affects many people, young and old alike. Highly contagious, measles can spread quickly if preventative measures against the virus are not taken. While it’s easy to blame the measles virus for this severe illness – which can even result in death if left untreated – there are various factors which contribute directly or indirectly toward its spread. As such, it’s important to know more about what causes measles so you can take action before the disease has a chance to spread. This allows you to claim your health insurance at the right time. In this blog post we'll cover some of the most common causes of measles.


How is Measles Caused?

Measles is the result of infection by a contagious virus known as morbillivirus.

Morbillivirus spreads through various means. This includes the release of contaminated droplets into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The following are some of the most popularly known causes of measles:

  • Morbillivirus can be transmitted through intimate contact such as kissing
  • Sharing drinks or food
  • Shaking hands or holding hands, or hugging with an infected individual.
  • Pregnant individuals can pass on the virus to their babies during pregnancy, childbirth, or through breastfeeding

Notably, the morbillivirus can persist in the air even after the infected person has left the vicinity. After exposure to the morbillivirus, it can take between six to 21 days for symptoms of measles to manifest. This period is known as the incubation period. Importantly, individuals become contagious approximately four days before the onset of the characteristic rash and continue to be so for about four days after the rash appears.

It's essential to note that there is no known cure for measles. The virus typically follows its natural course, which usually lasts for about 10 to 14 days.

However, some measures can be taken to alleviate symptoms and discomfort during this time. Some timely pain-relieving intervention include taking over-the-counter pain relievers, ensuring adequate rest, staying well-hydrated, gargling with salt water, and avoiding bright lights if one's eyes become sensitive.



Measles poses a significant threat, especially to young children. Measles spread through respiratory droplets, close contact, and from pregnant or new mother to child. Despite a readily available vaccine, thousands still succumb to this preventable disease annually. Understanding the causes of measles is crucial for early intervention. Timely vaccination remains the most effective defense against measles.


The above blog aims to provide general information about health and related topics. Any information provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials is not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is important that you contact your Doctor before starting a new medicine or health regime.

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