KMBC: Measles signs, symptoms, and information
The measles virus is a very contagious virus. Be aware of the symptoms and if you develop these symptoms, please call first before going in to seek medical care to help prevent spreading potential illness to others.
Symptoms of measles include:
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Red, watery eyes,
- Koplik spots (small spots with white or bluish-white centers) in the mouth that might appear two to three days after symptoms start
- A rash that begins three to five days after the initial symptoms—typically starting on the face at the hairline, and then spreading to the neck, torso, arms, legs, and feet (individuals with compromised immune systems might not have a rash or might exhibit an atypical rash)
Measles is contagious four days before the rash appears through four days after. The incubation period is usually 10 – 12 days from exposure to developing a fever, and 14 days from exposure to rash (range is seven to 21 days). The virus can remain active in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area.
The risk of contracting measles is low for those who have received the MMR or MMRV vaccine. If you have had one dose, it is 93 percent effective, and two doses brings that to 97 percent. However, the risk of contracting measles is extremely high for those who are exposed and not protected.