Symptoms Of Measles

Some Facts About The Symptoms Of Measles

Most people living today aren't terribly familiar with measles symptoms except for a knowledge that a rash of some sort is involved. The reason for this is that measles outbreaks today are rather rare in much of the world, and certainly in the developed countries.

A child who has been vaccinated against the disease should never show measles symptoms. Neither should any adult born after the mid-1950s. Most everyone, in the United States at least, who was born before that date either was vaccinated for it, or had the disease as a child. Measles was one of the so-called "children's diseases" which, along with mumps and the chicken pox, most everyone expected to get, unless of course they had received the vaccine. If you've been vaccinated against measles you'll never have measles symptoms, and if you've had the disease you'll never have the symptoms or the disease again.

Measles hasn't been completely eradicated, and in fact has made somewhat of a comeback in recent years, not of epidemic proportions, but a few cases here and there nevertheless, whereas a few years ago cases were very rare indeed.  The reason behind this is that the measles vaccine is not compulsory and some parents have chosen not to have their children vaccinated.

Symptoms Of Measles - Those who are not protected from measles are at a very high risk should an outbreak occur as the disease is highly contagious. Outbreaks often occur among school children, usually in the wintertime, but sometimes in the spring as well. When someone becomes infected with the virus they will not break out in a rash immediately. The first symptoms or measles more closely resemble a cold or an episode of the flu. Initially, one will experience a runny nose, feelings of drowsiness, and a loss of appetite. A fever will set in, gradually rising to over 100 degrees, possibly as high as 103 degrees. By the third day, spots may appear inside the cheeks. These spots are called Koplik's spots.

The fever may rise even more, perhaps to over 104 degrees in some cases, and the familiar rash will appear on the skin, almost always on the face at first, then extending to the rest of the body. The rash initially appears as small spots, which in many places coalesce, forming red blotches.

Coughing may follow as membranes become inflamed as well. These symptoms of measles will typically last about 4 days, seldom more than 5 days, and then will begin to subside. The affected person will be back to normal in about 2 weeks unless complications have occurred.

Symptoms Of Measles Complications - Whenever someone comes down with the measles it's always wise to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles complications, as some complications can be quite serious. One of the more common symptoms is an earache, caused by an ear infection, usually related to the inflammation that has occurred in the breathing passages and the throat. One should also be watchful for symptoms of pneumonia. Pneumonia is a fairly common complication of the measles, and in most cases does not represent a danger. Some however can become seriously ill if their immune system has become weakened for whatever reason.

A low blood count is another possible complication, as is encephalitis. Encephalitis, experienced by less than 1 percent those who have the measles, may be present along with the other symptoms of the measles or set in much later. Encephalitis is a serious disease and sometimes, though rarely, fatal.

If the children in your family have not received a measles vaccine, it may be worthwhile thinking about. Otherwise, be aware of any outbreaks of the disease as you may have to isolate those children at risk until the disease runs its course.