Rubeola (measles) is a viral infection that develops in the cells that line the lungs and the throat. It is extremely contagious and spreads via air whenever an infected person coughs or sneezes. When infected with measles, symptoms that develop include fever, cough, and runny nose. The hallmark of this disease is the appearance of a telltale rash. If measles is left untreated, it can result to complications such as pneumonia, ear infection, and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

 

The initial signs

About 7 to 14 days after getting infected, your first/initial symptoms start to appear. The earliest symptoms feels like a cold or flu, accompanied with a fever, runny nose, and sore throat. Most times, the eyes get red and runny. About 3 to 5 days later, a reddish-brown rash appears and spreads down the body from head to foot.

 

Koplik’s spots

About 2 to 3 days after the initial measles symptoms, you may observe some tiny spots inside the mouth, all over the cheeks. They are usually red with blue-white centers, called koplik’s spots. Koplik’s spots fades as other measles symptoms disappear too.

 

Measles rash

The rashes appear reddish or reddish-brown in colour. They begin on the face, works their way down the body over a few days: from the neck to the trunk, arms and legs, until they reach the feet. In the long run, it covers the entire body with blotches of colored bumps. The measles rash can last for 5 or 6 days in total. People that are immuno-compromised might not have the rash.

 

Healing time

Measles does not have a direct treatment. Mostly the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine taken within the first 3 days of exposure to the virus can prevent the disease. The best advice for people already infected with measles virus is to ensure adequate sleep and rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take antipyretic for fever.

 

Complications

Pneumonia (infection of the lungs that causes fever, chest pain, trouble breathing, and cough that produces mucus

Encephalitis

Conjunctivitis (eye infection)

Laryngitis (inflammation of the voice box)

Dehydration

Ear infection.

 

Recovery

All symptoms of measles mostly disappear in the same order in which they started. Within few days, the rashes start to fade leaving behind a brownish color on the skin, as well as some peeling. The fever also recedes and you start feeling better.