Measles, also called morbilli or rubeola, is a highly contagious disease of humans. After an incubation period of 9-11 days characteristic clinical signs develop like coryza, cervical lymphadenitis, so-called Koplik's spots in the mouth, conjunctivitis, photophobia, myalgia, malaise, sneezing and coughing lasting for about 1 week. Fever precedes the typical rash consisting of generalised maculopapular lesions that first appear on the face and soon after on the trunk and the extremities. Measles is one out of six infectious diseases that cause 90% of infectious disease deaths, worldwide ( It is a major childhood killer in developing countries, accounting for about 900,000 deaths a year (Fig.1 b). Data from the pre-vaccination era showed that in Europe by 10 years of age virtually everyone had evidence of past measles virus (MV) infection.

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ViroCinics b.v., Virus Research and Consultancy, Rotterdam, U-CyTech b.v., Cytokine Research, Utrecht, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, Meddens Diagnostics b.v., Vorden, Corning b.v., Schiphol-Rijk, Promega Benelux b.v., Leiden, Harlan Netherlands b.v., Horst, Greiner Bio-One b.v., Alphen aid Rijn, Pon's AutomobielĀ· handel b.v., Pon Porsche Import, Leusden, 't Vosje Partyservice & van der Linde Evenementen en Organisatie, Oude Tonge, GR Instruments b.v., DriebergenĀ·Rijsenburg, CLB, afd. Marketing en Reagentia, Amsterdam, bioMerieux Benelux b.v., Boxtel, The Netherlands
A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam