Measles, also called Rubeola, is a highly contagious virus that can be very serious if contracted by children. The infection causes a fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, and a rash that begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. In very young children, measles can lead to pneumonia as the virus spreads to the lungs. In older children the virus could lead to pneumonia, croup, diarrhea or swelling of the brain (encephalitis) which could cause seizures and brain damage.
A measles infection in pregnant women can be very serious for the unborn child. The virus can be passed from the mother to the baby and could cause premature birth or spontaneous abortions. While this is rare, due to the increase in early childhood vaccination, it is important to know whether you are immune to the virus before becoming pregnant.