Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Measles Overview

What are measles?
A person with measles has a viral infection that causes cold symptoms, swollen glands in the neck, and a rash. Measles are rare in the US because of vaccination programs for measles. There are less than 100 cases reported each year in the US. In most cases, symptoms of measles last for 10 to 14 days, and then resolve without treatment.

What are the symptoms of measles?
Initial symptoms of measles include a runny nose, sinus congestion, dry cough, hoarse voice, eye redness, and mouth lesions. Additional symptoms of measles appear about 4 days after the initial symptoms. Additional symptoms include a fever and a rash, which begins on the forehead and behind the ears, and then spreads to involve the chest, arms, and legs.

How does the doctor treat measles?
There is no cure for measles. Treatment for measles includes rest, oral fluids, and acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever.

Continue to Measles Incidence

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Measles References
  1. Perry RT, Halsey NA. The clinical significance of measles: a review. J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S4-16. [15106083]
  2. Stalkup JR. A review of measles virus. Dermatol Clin. 2002 Apr;20(2):209-15, v. [12120435]
  3. Wellington K, Goa KL. Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (Priorix; GSK-MMR): a review of its use in the prevention of measles, mumps and rubella. Drugs. 2003;63(19):2107-26. [12962524]
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