Measles (Rubeola): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

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.

Other measles (rubeola) symptoms and signs

  • Chest Pain
  • Cough
  • Ear Fullness
  • Ear Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Malaise
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Rash
  • Red Eyes
  • Red Spots in Mouth (Koplik's Spots)
  • Runny Nose
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sore Throat

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/10/2019


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