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Measles signs and symptoms

By Marianne Valentiner, Health Educator Bladen County Health Department

Measles is a serious respiratory disease (in the lungs and breathing tubes) that causes a rash and fever. It is very contagious. The symptoms of measles generally appears about seven to fourteen days after a person is infected.

Measles typically begins with:

*high fever


*runny nose (coryza)

* red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).

Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may join together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.  After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.

The best way to protect against measles is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (called the MMR shot). Doctors recommend that all children get the MMR shot.

Why should my child get the MMR shot?

The MMR shot:

*Protects your child from measles, a potentially serious disease, as well as mumps and rubella.

*Prevents your child from getting an uncomfortable rash and high fever from measles.

*Keeps your child from missing school or child care (and keeps you from missing work to care for your sick child).

Call Bladen County Health Department at: 910-862-6900 to schedule an appointment! We are located at 300 Mercer Mill Road, Elizabethtown, NC 28337

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