Measles: Overview

Measles: Overview

If you have a fever, runny nose, or white spots inside the mouth, then these are the symptoms of measles you are experiencing. Talk to a specialist for infectious diseases if you have any concerns.
Measles is a viral infection that affects your respiratory system and then spreads all over the body. There is no treatment available for this infection. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, or even death. Noticing the symptoms and getting treatment can prevent complications or symptoms. But to prevent measles infection once and for all, make sure you and your child get vaccinated on time. 

It is important to notice its symptoms as early as possible to prevent its complications.  

Causes and transmission  

Measles is a viral infection caused by viruses that belong to the paramyxovirus family which are tiny parasitic microbes. After infecting the host, it invades its cells and uses its cellular components to complete its life cycle. It usually attacks first on the respiratory tract and then eventually through the bloodstream spreads to other parts of the body. It does not occur in animals only in humans and there are 24 known species of measles virus while only 6 of them currently are known to cause symptoms in humans.  

It can spread by inhaling the small water and respiratory droplet particles that are released by the infected person when coughing, talking, or sneezing. These types of particles can stick on objects or surfaces and infect anyone who comes into contact with those objects or surfaces and then touch their face, nose, or mouth. This virus survives longer than you might think. The aerosol particles on surfaces even survive up to 2 hours. If you get exposed to this virus there is a 90% chance that you get infected. There is a considerable risk of getting infected with measles in those who have weakened immune systems, young children, and pregnant women. 9 out of 10 susceptible persons could develop measles if they had close contact with a measles patient. That’s why it is the most contagious infectious disease out of all infectious diseases.  


Generally, symptoms appear within 10 to 12 days (about 1 week 5 days) after the infection. Symptoms include:  

  • Fever  
  • Runny nose 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Red eyes 
  • White spots inside the mouth 

After that, a skin rash is the most prominent sign you notice. This lasts up to 7 days and appears within 14 days (about 2 weeks) of being exposed to the virus. The rash starts to appear on the head and slowly spreads to other parts of the body.  


For diagnosis, notice the symptoms and contact the doctor immediately. The doctor examines the symptoms and skin rash and then orders measles specific test RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) of the respiratory specimen. They collect samples of the serum and throat swabs from the patients to detect the measles virus. They also take a urine sample and blood test to increase the chances of detection. 


Measles has no specific treatment. In 2 to 3 weeks, the virus and its symptoms typically go away on their own. You only need to concentrate on getting enough rest, eating healthy food, and staying hydrated. After speaking with your doctor, you can also use over-the-counter drugs to lower your temperature. Dehydration can be avoided by using an oral rehydration solution. It is advised to use a humidifier to relieve your sore throat and cough. 

Want to know the tests that help diagnose Measles?

At Doral Health and Wellness, we have specialists for Infectious Diseases that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at or contact us at if you have any queries. 


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