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Welcome, medical contents search April 25, 2013
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more about Measles


  • Measles is a highly contagious infection that often occurs in children, but can also cause illness in adults.  The disease is spread through contact with virus-infected secretions from someone with the virus.  These secretions are carried via sneezing, coughing, or soiled clothing.
  • Measles is preventable by Immunization during childhood.  The vaccine used for Immunization is MMR, a combination of inoculations against measles, Mumps, and rubella (German measles) viruses.

  • Fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
  • Feeling tired
  • Poor appetite
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Soar and dry throat
  • Coughing with or without hoarse voice
  • Light-sensitive, red eyes
  • Tiny white lesions in the mouth and throat called Koplik's spots
  • Blotchy, red rash that starts in the face, migrates to the chest and abdomen, and finally to the arms and legs
  • The rash follows the general symptoms by 2-4 days, and sometimes as late as 7 days.
  • Nausea and enlarged lymph nodes can also occur

  • Rubeola virus

  • Based on history of exposure to others with similar symptoms
  • Physical exam by a physician for signs (i.e., rash, Koplik's spots, dry eyes)
  • Laboratory analysis may be necessary in difficult cases

    1. Blood and serum for IgM antibodies
    2. Serum for white blood cells, liver, and kidney function

  • X-rays of the chest and electrocardiogram in cases with suspected lung or heart involvement

  • Exposure to an individual with measles is not recommended in the following:
    1. Child or an adult without MMR Immunization
    2. Child or an adult who has never had measles or measles vaccination
    3. Individuals with weakened body defenses such as:

      • Those with AIDS, cancer, malnutrition, addiction to drugs, receiving potent medications, or exposed to radiation

    4. Pregnant women should avoid contact with individuals with active measles, especially in the first three months of pregnancy.

  • Vaccination with MMR in three injections (first at age 12-15 months, second at age 4-6 years, or at age 11 to 12 years if your child has not previously received the second dose) is the best method of prevention.
  • If symptoms develop:
    1. Rest at home and do not go outside (i.e., to work or school)
    2. Children can go back to school when feeling better, 5-6 days after the rash has started.
    3. Water, juices, sodas, and teas are helpful.
    4. Tylenol for fever
    5. Avoid aspirin in patients under 19 years old, as it may cause Reye's syndrome.
    6. Keep lights dim and wear sun glasses if you go outdoors
    7. Cool vaporized mist is good for cough and dry eyes
    8. Cough syrup and throat lozenges can help
    9. If symptoms include confusion, very high fever, or Seizures and vomiting, call 911 and notify your physician.

  • Pneumonia or infection of the lungs 
  • Heart problems 
  • Infection of the brain 
  • Aggravation of Tuberculosis
  • Ear infection (otitis media)
  • Premature labor

  • Uncomplicated measles is often not fatal.  However, if your child has not been vaccinated and is exposed to the virus, contact your physician immediately.  If pregnant, avoid contact with anyone infected.

  • Scarlet fever
  • Drug rash
  • Rubella or German measles
  • Other viral infections.

more about Measles

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