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Thread: Measles (Rubella and Rubeola): Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and ...

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    Measles (Rubella and Rubeola): Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and ...

    Measles is primarily a respiratory infection caused by a highly contagious virus. Signs and symptoms of measles include cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat, fever and a red, blotchy skin rash.

    Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. Approximately 30 million to 40 million cases of measles occur worldwide each year, resulting in close to 1 million deaths.

    The measles vaccine is a highly effective way to prevent measles. However, vaccination programs are incomplete in much of the world. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an increasing number of measles cases. Measles spreads easily among individuals who haven't been vaccinated.

    Measles is one of the most contagious viral diseases. It is caused by paramyxovirus and is the most unpleasant and the most dangerous of the children's diseases that result in a rash. This is due to the complications of the disease.

    It is a notifiable disease in the UK. This means that, by law, cases are required to be reported to a health officer or local government authority.

    How is measles transmitted?
    • Droplets transfer the infections. Although the sick person may be in isolation, the disease may still spread from room to room.
    • Anybody who has not already had measles can be infected.
    • Infants up to four months of age will not be infected if their mother has had measles herself because they will be protected by her antibodies.
    • The incubation period - the time between infection and the outbreak of the condition - is usually one to two weeks.
    • Patients are infectious from four days before the onset of the rash until five days after it appears.

    What are the symptoms of measles?

    After about 14 days the following symptoms start showing:

    • a fever at about 39ºC.
    • a cold.
    • coughing, possibly with a barking cough.
    • sore throat – the lymph nodes in the throat may swell.
    • reddish eyes (conjunctivitis).
    • sensitivity to light.
    • greyish spots, the size of grains of sand may appear in the mucous membrane of the mouth just around the molar teeth. These are called Koplik's spots and can be seen before the rash appears.
    • after three to four days the temperature may fall, although it can run high again when the rash appears.
    • the rash usually begins around the ears and spreads to the body and the legs within a day or two.
    • at first the spots are very small – a couple of millimetres – but they double in size quickly and begin to join together.
    • the spots are a clear red colour.
    • the temperature, which may run as high as 40ºC, may stay that high for a couple of days. Then it disappears together with the rash, which may leave some brown spots.
    • after a week the child will be fit again.
    Signs and Symptoms
    While measles is probably best known for the full-body rash it causes, the first symptoms of the infection are usually a hacking cough, runny nose, high fever, and red eyes. A characteristic marker of measles are Koplik's spots, small red spots with blue-white centers that appear inside the mouth.

    The measles rash typically has a red or reddish brown blotchy appearance, and first usually shows up on the forehead, then spreads downward over the face, neck, and body, then down to the arms and feet.
    Measles is highly contagious — 90% of people who haven't been vaccinated for measles will get it if they live in the same household as an infected person. Measles is spread when someone comes in direct contact with infected droplets or when someone with measles sneezes or coughs and spreads virus droplets through the air. A person with measles is contagious from 1 to 2 days before symptoms start until about 4 days after the rash appears.

    Measles is very rare in the United States. Due to widespread immunizations, the number of U.S. measles cases has declined in the last 50 years. Before measles vaccination became available in the 1960s, more than 500,000 cases of measles were reported every year. From 2000 to 2007, just an average of 63 cases per year was reported.

    However, in 2008 the United States saw an increase in measles cases and outbreaks (more than three or more linked cases), with 131 cases reported between January and July. More than 90% of those infected were not immunized or immunization status was unknown.

    Full Details:

    [HIDE] - document sharing - download Measles Overview.pdf


    Last edited by trimurtulu; 01-21-2009 at 09:04 PM.

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    Measles Virus May Be Effective Prostate Cancer Treatment

    Rochester, Minn. – January 21, 2009 – A new study appearing in The Prostate has found that certain measles virus vaccine strain derivatives, including a strain known as MV-CEA, may prove to be an effective treatment for patients with advanced prostate cancer. The findings show that this type of treatment, called virotherapy, can effectively infect, replicate in and kill prostate cancer cells.

    Prostate cancer is a leading cause death among males in the western world. It is currently the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths among American men with 186,320 new cases and 28,660 deaths expected to be recorded in 2008. A sizeable proportion of these patients ultimately relapse, with a 5-year failure rate for treatment ranging from 14 to 34 percent. No curative therapy is currently available for locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.

    The median survival time of MV-CEA-treated mice in the study almost doubled compared to the controls, and complete tumor regression was observed in one-fifth of treated animals.

    “Based on our preclinical results as well as the safety of measles derivatives in clinical trials against other tumor types, these viral strains could represent excellent candidates for clinical testing against advanced prostate cancer, including androgen resistant tumors,” says Evanthia Galanis, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic, senior author of the study. The study was supported by the Mayo Clinic Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in prostate cancer.

    These oncolytic strains of measles virus, represent a novel class of therapeutic agents against cancer that demonstrates no cross-resistance with existing treatment approaches, and can therefore be combined with conventional treatment methods.

    Because primary tumor sites are easily accessible in prostate cancer, locally recurrent disease represents a promising target for virotherapy approaches. The virotherapy agent can easily be applied directly to the prostate tumor via ultrasound-guided needle injections and close monitoring of therapy can be achieved by non-invasive techniques including ultrasound and MRI.

    The measles vaccine strains also have an excellent safety record with millions of vaccine doses having been safely administered in over 40 years of use. Repeated measurements of the marker CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen, produced when the virus replicates) following MV-CEA treatment can be performed via a simple blood test, and can potentially allow for optimization of dosing as well as the tailoring of individualized treatment. To date, no significant toxicity from MV-CEA treatment of patients with other tumor types has been observed.

    Prior studies have demonstrated the therapeutic potency of MV-Edm derivatives against a variety of preclinical animal models including ovarian cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, breast cancer, multiple myeloma, lymphoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.

    The promising results prompted the rapid translation of engineered MV-Edm strains in three clinical trials that are currently active. In the ovarian cancer trial, the furthest advanced; evidence of biologic activity has been noted in refractory ovarian cancer patients.

    The results set the foundation for additional studies in preparation for using engineered measles strains in a clinical trial for the treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer.

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