Measles Symptoms

Common early measles symptoms are sore throat, fever, runny nose and cough. The characteristic rash of measles typically appears 3 to 5 days following these initial symptoms.

Measles results from an infection with a virus from the genus Morbillivirus. It is spread from person to person through contaminated surfaces and through inhalation of airborne droplets coughed from infected individuals which contain the virus.

Symptoms become detectable generally 1 to 2 weeks following initial exposure and infection. The characteristic rash begins to develop 3 to 5 days after the initial symptoms of general illness.

Measles infection symptoms:

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • red eyes
  • runny nose
  • loud cough
  • white spots in mouth
  • itchy rash beginning near ears and on neck, then spreads to rest of body
  • seizures (if brain becomes infected)

Diagnosis is typically through physical examination and observation of the symptoms.

There is no treatment for measles other than measures to provide relief from symptoms. Any secondary infections (brain or lung infections) are treated accordingly.

Prevention has been successful with routine childhood measles vaccination programs. Temporary isolation of infected individuals also helps control spread of the condition to others.