How to recognize measles

How to spot measles when you see it

Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, and many younger doctors have never seen an infected patient. The virus can lead to complications such as pneumonia, inflammation of the brain and even death. A delayed diagnosis can allow the highly contagious disease to spread.

Initial symptoms can be similar to other illnesses:A cough, runny nose, redness of eyes and a fever as high as 106 degrees.

White lesions called Koplik spots can appear in the cheek a day or two before the measles rash begins.

A rash appears about two to four days after the first symptoms, beginning at the head and spreading to the rest of the body. Health officials say patients are usually contagious during the four days before and the four days after the rash erupts.

Source: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Annals of Internal Medicine

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