DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now be prevented with a vaccine. 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. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills several hundred thousand people a year, most under the age of 5.
By 2000, the measles vaccine had practically eliminated measles in the United States. But there has been a recent resurgence of the disease, as more people have chosen not to vaccinate their children.
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