Measles virus
(enveloped virus)

Measles viruses are enveloped viruses from the family of Paramyxoviridae. Measles viruses are distributed worldwide and are of great importance as the causing pathogens of measles.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported declining vaccination rates worldwide, for children of 81% for the first dose and 71% for the second dose, respectively. These rates are far below the threshold of 95% needed for herd immunity and thus potential eradication of the disease. For 2021, worldwide the number of deaths from measles was estimated to be 130 000 cases [1].

After a comparatively long incubation period of ten days on average, fever and rhinitis may be the first symptoms to appear. The pink-brownish spots, typical of measles, appear on the skin after four additional days at the latest. Measles can be potentially fatal, because of, among other things, brain inflammation associated with it. Infants in particular, but young adults too, have an increased risk of complications. Infected persons are contagious from before the appearance of the typical skin spots and then for about four more days.

The main path of transmission for measles is via virus-contaminated droplets of fluid that infected persons excrete when coughing, for example. Inhalation of these droplets can cause infection. Measles are highly contagious and even short periods of exposure can lead to infection. Infection is even possible in cases where a person has merely been in the same room as an infected person. There is a risk of infection after the infected person has already left the room, without direct contact.

Hygiene measures can make an important contribution to protection against infections with measles viruses. A disinfectant with virucidal activity against enveloped viruses should be used for both hand and surface disinfection.

ยป Necessary spectrum of antimicrobial activity
Virucidal against enveloped viruses


[1] World Health Organization, Nearly 40 million children are dangerously susceptible to growing measles threat. (accessed on 24.01.2023)

[2] Robert-Koch Institute, RKI memorandum: measles. (accessed on 08.02.2023)

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Enveloped viruses
These viruses have glycoproteins on their envelope, which are potential targets for external influences.

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The A-to-Z database provides information on each pathogen, the most common infections that it triggers, its main transmission paths and recommendations on disinfection. In the glossary, you will find explanations of infection control terms. Search now!

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