Emergence as a human disease around 500 A.D.
Between 1855 and 2005 Measles estimated to have killed 200 million people world wide. Currently 20 million people a year catch it, causing for about 100,000 deaths, mostly in developing countries.
Maurice Hilleman's Measles vaccine, which was first produced in 1963, saves an estimated 1 million people every year from measles related deaths. Prior to the vaccine 3 to 4 million people in the United States caught measles every year, but due to vaccination the disease is eliminated from the the United States.
Nine out of ten people not immune and share living space with an infected person will catch it. If disease is caught risk of death is about 0.2%.
Anatomy & Physiology of Measles. Symptoms include: week long fevers, cough, red eyes, rashes, and spots inside the mouth. The virus typically first comes in contact with host lung tissue, where it infects macrophages and dendritic cells. From there, the infected cells migrate to the lymph nodes where they transfer the virus to B and T cells. The infected B and T cells then migrate throughout the body releasing virus particles into the blood. The spleen, lymph nodes, liver, thymus, skin, and lungs are eventual destinations for the virus. In rare instances (about one in 1000 cases), the virus can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause dangerous swelling of the brain; infection of lung cells causes a hacking cough that keeps the virus circulating in the population.
The MMR vaccine contains tiny doses of living but inactivated viruses that cause measles, mumps and rubella.