About This Condition
Measles is a potentially serious, highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus.
Infection is easily transmitted by kissing or being coughed or sneezed upon by an infected person. The recent introduction of an effective vaccine against measles has greatly reduced the number of cases in many countries, though some developing nations continue to experience serious measles epidemics in children.
Symptoms of measles begin with a runny nose, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, and a slight fever, often accompanied by redness of the eyes and sensitivity to light. Later, the fever rises and a mildly itchy red rash develops on the face and spreads to the lower body. In severe cases, there may be high fever, convulsions, pneumonia, or severe diarrhea, and some severe cases can result in death.
People with measles are commonly advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Healthcare providers may also recommend limited contact with non-immunized people to prevent transmission of the disease.