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What are the symptoms of measles?

The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected. Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose (coryza), and red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis). Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.

Dr. James D. Cherry, MD
Pediatrician

The first symptoms of measles are high fever, coughing and red, watery eyes for about four days before developing the telltale red rash that typically is raised and running together, beginning on the face and spreading to the neck and the rest of the body. Symptoms usually last for about 11 days. Measles is a highly contagious viral respiratory infection that is spread when someone comes in contact with infected droplets through the air from a patient. A person is contagious from when symptoms start until about four days after the rash appears.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.