Measles; spread, signs and symptoms, management, prevention


It is a highly contagious viral infection producing various symptoms and characteristic rash.

Causative organism: Morbilli virus (measles virus).

Incubation period: 7-14days

Mode of transmission

Directly by droplets spread through coughing, taking, spiting from infected persons Indirect: through freshly soiled articles from throat and nose secretion from infected individuals.

Signs and symptoms

Prodromal symptoms include;

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Convulsions

Skin: rashes begins on the face or below or in front of the ears. The rash spread within 1-2 days to the trunk, arms, and legs.

Gastrointestinal Tract:

Photo by CDC

  • Koplik’s spot (tiny white spots in the month)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Redness and soreness
  • Diarrhea

Eyes: conjunctivitis and redness of the eyes.

Photo by USC Roski Eye Institute - Keck Medicine of USC


  • Isolate the patient
  • Give Symptomatic treatment
  • Antibiotics for secondary bacterial infection
  • Tepid sponge the patient
  • Apply gentian violet solution (because of sores)
  • Bath child and apply soothing pomade.
  • Provide Nourishing diet.

Prevention and Control

  • Isolate infected individuals.
  • All contacts should be isolated and observed for signs
  • Concurrent disinfection of articles of infected persons
  • Measles immunization at 9months. During outbreaks, it should be given at 6months and repeated at 1 year

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