Information on measles

Measles, also known as rubeola, is an infectious viral disease that primarily affects the a respiratory system and mostly occurs in winter and spring.

The most common symptoms of measles include fever, a hacking cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, and a spreading rash. Measles can also cause a range of serious complications.

The incubation period for measles is about 2 weeks between exposure to the virus and the appearance of the rash.

Most symptoms of measles subside 1 or 2 days after the rash begins, but the cough and rash usually last 10-14 days.

Measles, like all viral diseases, cannot be treated with antibiotics. Also like most viral illnesses, a measles infection can normally be left to run its course. Fortunately, most children and adults recover from measles within 2-3 weeks without developing any serious complications.

Usually, the only treatment that is required for measles sufferers is treatment of their symptoms, with paracetamol, regular rinsing of the mouth, and plenty of fluids to drink.

Serious (but rare) complications can result from measles, such as croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, diarrhoea, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, and brain inflammation (encephalitis). Immediate medical treatment should be obtained if there is any sign of these occurring.

Measles can also make the body more susceptible to other diseases, such as ear infections or pneumonias caused by bacteria.

Symptoms and complications of measles are usually more severe in adults.