Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Measles, also known as rubeola, is a respiratory disease characterized by a rash all over the body in addition to fever, runny nose, and cough. It is typically a childhood illness that can be complicated by ear infection or pneumonia; associated symptoms for these conditions can include ear pain or fullness, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Other symptoms common in measles include
- reddened eyes,
- sore throat,
- sensitivity to light, and
- spots on the lining of the mouth known as Koplik's spots.
Koplik's spots look like white grains surrounded by a red rim and usually appear at the back of the mouth. Symptoms and signs of measles usually appear one to two weeks after contracting the infection.
Causes of measles
Measles is caused by the measles virus (a paramyxovirus). It is spread from person to person by droplets from the nose, throat, and mouth of someone who is infected with the virus that enter the air when coughing or sneezing.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Measles (Rubeola)." June 17, 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/measles/>.
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