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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 2 days
- Lasts about 4-6 days
- Gargling with warm salt water
- Using a humidifier
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Cold sponge baths
- Drinking plenty of liquids and eating a soft, bland diet
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases http://www.nfid.org
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society 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;192(10):1686-1693.
Kassianos G. Vaccination for tomorrow: the need to improve immunization rates. J Fam Health Care. 2010;20(1):13-6.
Measles. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 8, 2015. Accessed June 9, 2015.
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 December 13, 2013. Accessed June 9, 2015.
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 http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Measles—United States, January—May 20, 2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60(20)666-668.
- Reviewer: Fabienne Daguilh, MD
- Review Date: 06/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -