How Does Measles Spread

How Does Measles Spread
5 Dec 2022
Table Of Content
How Does Measles Spread

    Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease and it is caused by the measles virus. It is the respiratory tract viral infection which is most commonly seen in small children. Measles is usually prevented and the rate of its spread can be reduced by Vaccination. It spreads through different modes of transmission which includes person to person contact, throat mucus of an infected person, coughing and sneezing. Let us discuss in detail how does measles spread.

    Respiratory Route


    It is important to know that measles spreads through the respiratory route from an infected person. Viruses are released from the respiratory tract of the infected person which is then transferred through the environment, leading to the infection of the respiratory tract of the exposed person. Keep reading to know how does measles spread and causes chain infections.


    • When people affected with measles cough or sneeze, the respiratory droplets from the infected person enter the environment. It can remain in the air for several hours and the virus remains infectious on contaminated surfaces for up to two hours.
    • Generally Infected people stay contagious for about five days before the onset of rash to four days after the onset.
    • 2–3 days after exposure the virus spreads into the blood from the initial site of infection.
    • And after 5–7 days, the infected blood comes in contact with organs where the virus replicates and enters the bloodstream stream again.
    • Unimmunized Infants, people in whom the vaccine has failed to induce immunity , and other unvaccinated individuals are at increased risk.


    Vertical Transmission


    Do you know how does measles spread from mother to baby? Yes, It spreads through vertical transmission. Vertical transmission is the passage of a disease-causing agent (pathogen) from mother to baby during the period immediately before and after birth. Transmission can occur across the placenta, in the breast milk, or through direct contact during or after birth. So, it is important to check for a doctor if the patient is affected by measles viruses. It can cause harmful effects in the developing baby.

    Do You Know How Does Measles Spreads As Chain Transmission?


    Chain transmission refers to the steps involved in the chain of infection. 


    1. Agent


    The Chain of Infection begins with an agent. Here the agent is the virus that causes measles. These agents enter the reservoir. 

    2. Reservoir


    The reservoir is the people where the infection lives. of measles infection is the virus which causes the infection. and multiplies rapidly.

    3. Portal of exit


    Then it progresses to the portal of exit by which a pathogen leaves its host. Through different modes of transmission that enter and reach the public. They cause infection in the people who are exposed to the viruses.


    4. Means Of Transmission


    These are various ways where the infectious agent can be passed on, by ingestion, direct contact, or through  inhalation.

    5. Portal Of Entry


    Portal of entry is a new host. It enters the host through respiratory tract, broken skin, mucous membranes.


    6. The Host


    The person who receives the infection is called as host and he becomes the carrier of the infection or someone at risk of infection.


    We can break this chain by getting vaccinated, by practicing proper hand hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying isolated when sick.


    10 Preventive Methods Against Measles


    1. Wash your hands frequently
    2. Avoid close contact with the infected person
    3. Avoid crowding and public gathering
    4. Avoid unwanted touching of face and nose
    5. Wear face mask regularly
    6. Isolating the infected person
    7. Avoid sharing of food and clothes with the infected person
    8. Make sure to clean surfaces with disinfectants regularly
    9. If the symptoms are identified check for infection
    10. Get the vaccinations without fail


    Get Vaccinated And Protect Against Measles


    Measles can be prevented by getting vaccinated with the MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccine. This vaccine protects against three diseases which includes measles, mumps and rubella. It is highly recommended in children to get two doses of MMR vaccines, starting from the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age. Second dose of vaccination can be given around 4 to 6 years of age.



    Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease caused by a virus from the paramyxovirus family. Unvaccinated young children, pregnant women and immunocompromised patients are at highest risk of getting infected with measles and its complications. It is one of the world’s most contagious diseases that spreads by close contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. Young and malnourished children are at high risk of getting infected with measles that can result in epidemics and might cause many deaths. To reduce global measles deaths, routine measles vaccination for children, combined with mass immunization campaigns, and educating the population about how does measles spread are highly essential to eliminate the risk of spread.


                                    “Stay safe and stay healthy”


    Written by
    Dr. Sree MadhumithaContent Writer
    Tags :Transmission of measlesVaccination for measlesMeasles infection