Emma Butler, Nadia Douglas, Brian Fay,
Sive Finlay, Sara Kinsman, Chris Mulvey,
Sarah McGrath, Siobhán Regan
What is Measles?
An infection of the
respiratory system
Caused by the Morbillivirus
Transmitted through
Symptoms: fever, cough, rash
koplik’s spots
Diagnosis & treatment
 Clinical diagnosis requires a
history of fever of 3 days, with at
least 1 of: cough, cold,
 Koplik’s spots are diagnostic, but
not always seen
 No specific treatment
Evolution of measles
 Evolved from the rinderpest
virus in the 11th and 12th
 Thought to have evolved in
an environment where cattle
and humans lived in close
 1st scientific description by
Muhammad ibn Zakariya arRazi
Historical treatments
 Ancient Egypt
 Mythology
 Herbal treatments
 Ancient Rome
 Mythology
 Herbal treatments
 American Indians
 Disharmony
 Medicine men
The Dark Ages & Medieval Era
 Proper obedience to God and the
will of the Church
Dirty water : to keep a baby from
growing up sickly
Rabbits foot: to prevent disease
Bleeding : “draining out” the illness
Roasted mice
Homeopathy & Measles
 In Eastern medical philosophy,
poisons are believed to
accumulate in the baby's body
during life in the womb.
 Changes in your child's
 Measles strengthens the immune
 Virgin population that has never
experienced the disease.
Fiji 1875
Measles epidemic killed over 40,000 people
Increased visiting vessels and shorter travelling times – from
Australia rather than England
No natural immunity – used as evidence for natives being less
Extrinsic factors increased the severity
• vitamin A deficiency
• coinfection with pneumonia and diarrheal disease
• starvation – hurricane and unable to gather food due to the
• refusal to accept the risk – similar to HIV in the 1980s
Native American Indians
 Measles introduced to the
Americas by Old World settlers
beginning with the Voyages of
Columbus in AD 1492
 Separate evolutionary histories
for host-pathogen relationships
prior to Age of Exploration
 Lack of immunological memory
increased risk of infection,
morbidity and mortality
 “Virgin-soil” epidemics
Native American Indians
 Old World diseases preceded
contact by actual explorers
 Populations already
decimated by the time
Europeans settlers attempted
to colonise
 Intensified reactions to
measles vaccine observed in
unexposed populations of
American Indians to this day
Intrinsic & Extrinsic Drivers
• The intrinsic and extrinsic driving factors of
measles are well characterised.
• Earn et el (2000) used a seasonally forced SEIR
model to demonstrate how changes in complex
dynamics could be predicted, with just knowledge
of population size and vaccination rates.
Intrinsic & Extrinsic Drivers
 From studies similar to that of Earn et al (2000)-
intrinsic and extrinsic factors of measles are not
mutually exclusive of each other
 Interactions between
1. Intrinsic, nonlinear dynamics and
2. Extrinsic, seasonal cycles
Drive the disease and influences the epidemics
Cyclical Nature of Epidemics
Any Questions?

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