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What is Measles

Measles is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system and causes a red, itchy rash on the skin. It is very contagious and can spread through the air or by direct contact with an infected person. Measles can be prevented by getting vaccinated and can be treated with supportive care and medication to ease the symptoms.


What are the signs and symptoms of Measles

The signs and symptoms of measles are:

  • High fever, usually above 104°F (40°C), that lasts for four to seven days.
  • Cough, runny nose, sore throat, and inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis).
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background inside the mouth, also called Koplik’s spots.
  • A red, blotchy rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body over several days

Measles Complications and Risk Factors for Severe Illness

Measles is a viral infection that can cause serious and sometimes fatal complications, especially in children and people with weak immune systems. 

Some of the common complications of measles are:

  • Otitis media: An ear infection that can cause pain, fever, and hearing loss.
  • Bronchopneumonia: A lung infection that can cause cough, difficulty breathing, and chest pain.
  • Laryngotracheobronchitis: An inflammation of the voice box, windpipe, and airways that can cause hoarseness, wheezing, and breathing problems.
  • Diarrhea: A condition that can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and weight loss.
  • Encephalitis: A brain inflammation that can cause seizures, coma, and permanent brain damage.
  • Blindness: A result of eye damage from measles virus or secondary infections.
  • Death: A result of severe complications or organ failure.

Some of the risk factors for developing severe illness from measles are:

  • Age: Children under 5 years and adults over 20 years are more likely to have complications from measles.
  • Malnutrition: People who are undernourished or lack vitamin A are more prone to measles infections and complications.
  • Immune status: People who have weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS, cancer, organ transplant, or other conditions are more susceptible to measles and its complications.
  • Vaccination status: People who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated against measles are at higher risk of getting infected and having complications.

FAQ About Measles

How do you get measles?

You can get measles if you are exposed to the measles virus, which is normally passed through respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks.

How is measles diagnosed?

Measles can be diagnosed by a blood test or by examining the rash and other signs.

Is there a dermatologist near me in Virginia Beach that offers treatment for Measles?

Yes. At our Virginia Beach dermatology office we offer treatment for Measles to patients from Virginia Beach and the surrounding area. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.