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Signs and Symptoms

Español: Signos y síntomas del sarampión

The symptoms of measles generally begin about 7-14 days after a person is infected, and include:

Measles RashImage of measles infection

Skin of a patient after 3 days of measles infection.

See Photos of Measles for additional images.

  • Blotchy rash
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Feeling run down, achy (malaise)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

A typical case of measles begins with mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and sore throat. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik’s spots) may appear inside the mouth.

Three to five days after the start of symptoms, a red or reddish-brown rash appears. The rash usually begins on a person’s face at the hairline and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.

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