Is measles fatal? – Know the risk factors and complications

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The war on measles can be won if we, as parents who have nothing but their kid’s well being in mind, do our part by staying vigilant and informed. After all, the front line of prevention begins in every home.

Measles is a potentially life-threatening disease. Fortunately, the Department of Health (DOH) has implemented a nationwide immunization program that aims to eradicate the disease in 2017.


Measles, also known as rubeola, is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease caused by a virus.

The rubeola virus is so potent that being in the same room with someone who has measles in a short span of time, or having face-to-face contact with them, is enough to expose one to the virus.

The disease is characterized by a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms including high fever, runny nose, and cough. Measles can also go to the lungs and central nervous system.

Measles Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Red eyes or inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Koplik’s spots or red spots that have bluish-white centers found in the lining of the mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Splotchy red rashes appear after a few days, starting on the face first or behind the ears and then spreading to the rest of the body

Measles symptoms appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.


The infection plays out in this sequence in a period of two to three weeks:


10-14 days after exposure to the infection is the incubation period. During this time, none of the measles symptoms mentioned above appear.

Non-specific symptoms

These are symptoms shared with other diseases hence cannot be used to determine the contraction of measles. These start with mild fever, runny nose, dry cough, inflamed eyes and sore throat.

Rashes and illness

Rashes occur a few days after non-specific symptoms arrive. From the head, the rashes spread to the upper body, limbs, thighs, lower legs and then the feet. The rashes are accompanied by a sudden high fever of 40 to 41 C.

Eventually, the rashes fade from the face, thighs and from the feet last.

Continue reading to know the causes of measles and how it is transmitted

Health & Wellness