Measles Epidemiology and Transmission



Measles Epidemiology and Transmission

Measles Epidemiology and Transmission

A Summary of Measles Infection

Measles falls among the highly contagious viral infections in the world today, especially among children under five years. The mode of transmission is via contact with infected respiratory droplets. It has an incubation period of six to twenty-one days, after which, patients do present visible symptoms such as high fever, coughs, conjunctivitis, rashes, malaise, and coryza among others (Liu et al., 2013). The most vulnerable population groups to measles disease are infants too young to be vaccinated, individuals who never received the measles vaccination, and persons whose body immune systems failed to respond accordingly to the vaccines. It is currently one of the significant causes of child ill health, morbidity, and mortality, particularly in underdeveloped and developing nations around the world.

Since human beings are the only reservoirs of the measles, causing germs, precautionary measures are essential to prevent the spread of this harmful infection from infected to uninfected persons. Consequently, the public health experts around the world in collaboration with key stakeholders such as the CDC and WHO, among others have made frantic efforts to eradicate it through vaccination programs (Patel et al., 2020). However, this proved futile owing to high rates of transmissibility alongside socio-cultural and political factors in different regions of the world. Before the invention of the vaccine, measles caused immense damage to health and wellness, with millions of child deaths recorded.

Why the measles spread the way, it did in the Case study

As already hinted above, measles is a severe contagious viral infection, which requires prompt and adequate precautionary measures to handle and manage. Failure to do so would see the disease spread alarmingly to the rest of the population as witnessed in the case study. Sean being the index case in the case study scenario, had to extend it to others. For instance, since the ailment is highly infectious, some children acquired it from others during play where they freely mingled and unknowingly exposed themselves to danger. Similarly, other juveniles contracted the disease from sharing play items such as toys and much more. Additionally, some healthcare officials who missed the immunization programs also contracted the disease from clients under their care, such as Sean. Eventually, they transmitted the same to other unsuspecting patients under their supervision. Precisely, the malady spread alarmingly because of failure to take appropriate precautionary measures in the region (Liu et al., 2013).

Underlying Issues for the Spread of Measles in the Cases Study

As witnessed in the case study, the measles ailment managed to spread faster than was the expectation because of specific underlying issues. Indeed, matters like policy and procedures contributed considerably to the unprecedented spread of this infectious ailment. For instance, practices and policies regarding immigration, immunization, alongside reporting procedures for communicable illnesses seem to have contributed immensely to the wanton spread (Patel et al., 2020). Some individuals skipped immunization programs meant to curb the transmission of the harmful disease owing to socio-cultural reasons, and this exposed them to this infection as witnessed in the case study scenario.

Moreover, some non-immunized individuals moved into the region from foreign lands such as Zambia. The immigration officials should liaise with public health officials to vaccinate such persons to prevent further disease transmission. Similarly, proper isolation or quarantine of measles infected persons as a matter of policy also could help avoid the high transmission rates witnessed (Patel et al., 2020). In the case study, several people mingled freely with others instead of going for isolation to protect others in the vicinity from the dangerous infection.


Liu, S., Xu, E., Zhang, X., Liu, Y., Du, J., Wang, J., … & Gu, W. (2013). The Epidemiological Characteristics of Measles and Difficulties of Measles Elimination in Hang Zhou, China. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics9(6), 1296-1302.

Patel, M. K., Antoni, S., Nedelec, Y., Sodha, S., Menning, L., Ogbuanu, I. U., & Gacic Dobo, M. (2020). The Changing Global Epidemiology of Measles, 2013–2018. The Journal of Infectious Diseases.