Measles - Symptoms of measles
NHS Choices Medical Reference
Around 10 days after you get the measles infection, the following symptoms begin to appear:
- cold-like symptoms, such as runny nose, watery eyes, swollen eyelids and sneezing,
- red eyes and sensitivity to light,
- a mild to severe temperature, which may peak at over 40.6°C (105°F) for several days, then fall but go up again when the rash appears,
- tiny greyish-white spots (called Koplik's spots) in the mouth and throat,
tiredness, irritability and general lack of energy,
- aches and pains,
- poor appetite,
- dry cough, and
- red-brown spotty rash (see below).
The above symptoms generally last for up to 14 days.
The measles rash appears two to four days after initial symptoms and lasts for up to eight days. The spots usually start behind the ears, spread around the head and neck, then spread to the legs and the rest of the body.
The spots are initially small but quickly get bigger and often join together. Similar-looking rashes may be mistaken for measles, but measles has a range of symptoms, not just a rash.
Most childhood rashes are not measles, but see your GP without delay if:
- you suspect it is measles,
- symptoms worsen,
- temperature increases to above 38°C (100.4°F),
- temperature stays high after other symptoms have gone, or
- there are signs of other related illnesses (see Complications).
Sneezing: Sneezing is an involuntary expulsion of air and bacteria from the nose and mouth.
Aches: An ache is a constant dull pain in a part of the body.