Measles is an acute and highly contagious viral infection that was common in children around the world prior to the introduction of vaccination.1
Children who have not been vaccinated against the measles virus are at risk. After a 10 to 14 day incubation period, the most common symptoms include rash, fever, cough, runny nose and inflammation of the eyes. Complications include ear, brain and lung infections which can lead to death.2
Measles is highly contagious and one of the most easily spread human infections. The virus is spread through the air by the coughing and sneezing of an infected person. People with measles become infectious one to two days prior to the appearance of symptoms, until four days after the rash appears.1
A General Practitioner (GP) will initially suspect a measles diagnosis based on symptoms. This is followed up with a blood test and samples from the nose, throat and urine. There is no specific treatment available for measles. People with measles require rest, fluids to maintain hydration and paracetamol to treat fever. It is important that people suffering from measles stay at home to reduce the possibility of spreading the infection to others.1
Urgent medical advice from your GP is recommended for the onset of measles-like symptoms. For further information regarding measles vaccination speak with your healthcare professional.