Measles is viral infection. It is highly contagious. It causes fever, cough, and a rash. It was once a common childhood illness. Measles is now seen less often in the US. This is due to the use of the
Very small spots inside the mouth (2-4 days after initial symptoms)
Raised, itchy rash:
Starts around the ears, face, and side of neck 3-5 days after initial symptoms appear
Generally spreads to the arms, trunk, and legs over the next two days
Lasts about 4-6 days
Full recovery, without scarring, generally takes 7-10 days from the onset of the rash.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis is made from the symptoms and the rash. Lab tests are usually not needed.
Measles are caused by a virus. Therefore, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. The focus is on relieving symptoms.
Gargle with warm salt water to relieve sore throat. Using a humidifier may also help.
Treat high fever with non-aspirin medication. This includes
. Cold sponge baths may also help.
: Aspirin is not recommended for children or teens with a current or
recent viral infection. This is because of the risk of
. Ask your doctor which other medicines are safe for your child.
Get plenty of rest.
Drink plenty of liquids.
Eat a soft, bland diet.
In most cases, complications are rare. You may need to be hospitalized if you have a severe case. Complications may include:
—inflammation of the brain
If you are diagnosed with measles, follow your doctor's
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent measles. The vaccine contains live viruses that can no longer cause disease.
There is a single vaccine to prevent measles, and it is also available in combination with:
Mumps, rubella, and
(chicken pox) vaccine (MMRV)
The regular schedule for giving the vaccine is at age 12-15 months and again at age 4-6 years. If you or your child has never been vaccinated against the measles, talk to the doctor.
In some cases, the MMR vaccine is given within three days after exposure. This can prevent or reduce symptoms. Immune globulin is given to certain unvaccinated people within six days of exposure. This is usually for infants and pregnant women.
Ask your doctor if the vaccine is right for you. In general, avoid the vaccine if you:
Have had severe allergic reactions to vaccines or vaccine components
Are pregnant—Avoid pregnancy for 1-3 months after receiving the vaccine.
Have a weakened immune system
Have a high fever or severe upper respiratory tract infection
If you are not vaccinated, avoid contact with someone who has measles.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a