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Rubeola (Measles)

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Rubeola (Measles)

Rubeola, which is called the measles, hard measles, or red measles, is an acute viral disease characterized by rash and fever. The measles is transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person and has a peak incidence in the winter months. The virus is also present in blood and urine of the infected person. The period of communicability is from 4 days before rash to 5 days after rash appears. The incubation period is 10 to 20 days.

Measles is caused by the Rubeola Virus. It is important to maintain airborne precautions if a child is hospitalized; otherwise, isolation until 4th day of rash.


Measles usually presents within 6-21 days of contact with the virus and presents first with fever and general malaise.

Red Maculopapular Rash
Red Mac-glow-papule-people

After the fever, 3C’s and Koplik spots, a red rash appears starting on the face and spreading down the body towards the feet.

3 C's
3 C's with cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis

The three C’s include coryza [a cold], cough, and conjunctivitis. They are the prodromal or catarrhal (inflammation of mucous membranes) stage of symptoms.


Some patients present with sensitivity to light. Vitamin A supplementation and dimming bright lighting helps this symptom.

Koplik Spots

These small, irregular red spots with a minute, bluish to white center first seen on buccal mucosa are pathognomonic for measles. They are usually opposite molars and appear 2 days before rash.

MMR Vaccination
M&M-aRt Syringe

There is no cure for measles and the best treatment is prevention via vaccine. This vaccine is a two part vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella. The first dose is given between the ages of 12-15 months and the second dose between ages 4-6 years old. This vaccine is usually required prior to enrollment in school.


Medications aimed at controlling high fevers are often used in the treatment of measles symptoms.

Vitamin A Supplementation
Viking (A) Apple

Vitamin A has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with measles.


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