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What is measles?

Measles is a viral illness characterized by a distinct rash and a fever. Spread through airborne droplets of nasal secretions, measles is very contagious. When infected people cough or sneeze, droplets spray into the air and can remain active and contagious for 2 hours. Once a common childhood disease, it is now rare due to effective immunizations in developed countries. Although usually a mild illness in children, measles can have serious complications and be fatal to children who are immunosuppressed.

What are the symptoms of the measles?

The measles usually begin with flu-like symptoms. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • sore eyes
  • cough
  • feeling ill
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headache

In most cases, three to four days into the course of the disease, a red rash appears, covering the whole body. This rash fades after three days as symptoms subside.
The symptoms of measles may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment of the measles:

Specific treatment for the measles will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your overall health and medical history
  • extent of the condition
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the condition
  • your opinion or preference

Although antibiotics will not treat the measles itself, it may be necessary to treat secondary infections. Usually plenty of fluids and acetaminophen for the fever help make the patient more comfortable.