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- Direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people
- Airborne transmission, which is less common
- 1-2 days before symptoms appear
- 3-5 days before the rash
- 4 days after the appearance of the rash
- Unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated
- Living in crowded and/or unsanitary conditions
- Traveling to less developed countries where measles is common
- Season: winter and spring
- Weakened immune system even if vaccinated
Born after 1956 and either:
- You have never been diagnosed with measles.
- You received a vaccine before 1968 and you have never been fully vaccinated since.
- Fever, often high
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Hacking cough
- Sore throat
- Very small spots inside the mouth—2-4 days after initial symptoms
Raised, itchy red to brownish rash:
- Starts around the ears, face, and side of the neck 3-5 days after the first symptoms appear
- Generally spreads to the arms, trunk, and legs over the next two days
- Lasts about 4-6 days
- Gargle with warm salt water to relieve sore throat. Using a humidifier may also help.
Treat high fever with an over-the-counter pain reliever such as
acetaminophen. Cold sponge baths may also help.
- Note: Aspirin is not recommended for children or teens with a current or recent viral infection. This is because of the risk of Reyes syndrome. Ask your doctor which other medicines are safe for your child.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Eat a soft, bland diet.
- 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
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases http://www.nfid.org
Caring for Kids http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Bellini WJ, Rota JS, Lowe LE, et al. Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis: more cases of this fatal disease are prevented by measles immunization than was previously recognized. J Infect Dis. 2005 Nov 15;192(10):1686-93.
Kassianos G. Vaccination for tomorrow: the need to improve immunization rates. J Fam Health Care. 2010;20(1):13-6.
Measles (rubeola). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-3-infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/measles-rubeola.htm. Updated July 1, 2011. Accessed June 7, 2013.
Peter G, Gardner P. Standards for immunization practice for vaccines in children and adults. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2001;15:9-19.
5/27/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Measles—United States, January—May 20, 2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 May 20 early online.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 06/07/2013 -