By | June 8, 2022

Measles is a viral disease caused by the measles virus of the same name. It is an acute infectious disease that presents with flu-like symptoms. Characteristic of the measles are above all the clearly visible skin rash, cough and fever. People with measles are then immune for life. Vaccination against measles is important because potentially life-threatening co-morbidities can occur.

What is measles?

Measles is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus. Typical signs of measles are a noticeable skin rash, which is also known as an exanthema. Similar to scarlet fever, mumps and chickenpox, measles is a common childhood disease . Adults are less likely to suffer from measles, since infection in childhood leads to lifelong immunity.

If left untreated, measles can also trigger some other diseases and thus have serious consequences. In this context, pneumonia or otitis media can occur. As with other childhood diseases, measles are notifiable and must be treated by a doctor. For mlb – major league baseball, please visit


The causes of measles are due to a viral infection. The so-called measles virus is primarily specialized in humans and primarily affects nerve cells and the immune system. The incubation period for measles is usually between seven and ten days. The disease is transmitted through the air by droplet infection, i.e. sneezing or coughing.

The measles virus then settles through the respiratory tract of the affected person in the mucous membranes and quickly develops its disease-causing effect. The conjunctiva of the eyes can also be affected by the virus. Similar to scarlet fever sufferers, the still unborn Baybies are immune in the womb if the mother had the measles in childhood. This immunity then lasts until the infant is six months old.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Measles has two stages with different symptoms: flu-like symptoms appear during the initial and precursor stage, and painful skin changes appear in the rash stage. Symptoms such as tiredness, headache, sore throat and abdominal pain and a slight fever are typical of the precursor stage. There is hoarseness and a dry, barking cough, often associated with a runny nose.

Externally, measles at this stage can be recognized by the bloated face. If conjunctivitis sets in, this leads to photophobia and watery eyes. Other characteristic symptoms of the precursor stage are the so-called Koplik spots. These are whitish, firmly adhering deposits surrounded by a red areola. They appear in the area of ​​the oral mucosa from the second to third day.

After three to four days, the spots spread to the entire mucous membrane of the mouth and throat. This is usually followed by a strong fever. After a second increase in fever, the stage of the skin rash is announced. The symptoms become more severe and a widespread rash develops on the face, neck, trunk, arms and legs, not affecting the palms of hands and soles of the feet. Symptoms peak on day four and subside within two weeks.

course of the disease

Various complications can occur during the course of the disease. A distinction is made between complications caused by the measles virus and complications caused by other bacterial infections. The measles virus can cause pneumonia or bronchitis. Therefore, vaccination against measles should always be considered in childhood. The encephalitis (measles encephalitis) that can be caused by the measles should also be mentioned.

As a result of this side disease, convulsions, disturbances of consciousness, paralysis and epileptic seizures can occur. The potential permanent personality disorders and brain damage it causes make untreated measles infection very dangerous. In rare cases, measles can result in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, which is fatal. Other complications that can occur as a bacterial superinfection are: weakening of the immune system, inflammation of the mucous membranes, middle ear inflammation and possibly blindness.


Measles can cause a number of complications. First of all, there is a risk of side effects such as a middle ear infection or bacterial infections. Bronchitis and pneumonia can develop in the respiratory tract, both of which are associated with further complications. Further infections can also lead to impaired consciousness, convulsions, epileptic seizures, paralysis and other complaints.

In extremely rare cases, encephalitis or thrombocytopenia can occur. When brain tissue is affected, it can lead to mental decline, seizures, and eventually death. Risk factors such as malnutrition or previous illnesses increase the risk of complications. Small children and older and weakened people are also particularly at risk – around one in 2,000 diseases here results in serious consequential damage or is fatal.

As a result of a vaccination against measles, typical vaccination reactions such as redness, pain and swelling can occur. Fever, fatigue and headaches can also occur. Serious complications such as pronounced allergic reactions and febrile seizures rarely occur.

In addition, any home remedies and natural remedies can lead to a deterioration in the state of health. Due to the large number of possible complications, measles should be clarified immediately by a doctor and treated medically.

When should you go to the doctor?

In case of changes in the complexion, rash, cough or fever, a doctor’s visit is advisable. If discoloration occurs, the formation of small red spots on the skin and a feeling of pain in the affected parts of the body, a doctor should be consulted. Since the disease has a high potential for infection, people around you must be protected from possible infection. Fatigue, hoarseness and a drop in performance are signs of an existing irregularity. A doctor should be consulted, as there is a significant deterioration in health within a short period of time.

If sleep disorders set in, if you feel ill or if you experience headaches or body aches, you need a doctor. Changes in vision, increased sensitivity to light and inflammation of the conjunctiva are complaints that should be clarified by a doctor as soon as possible. Abnormalities in the mouth and throat should also be presented to a doctor. If there are problems with the swallowing process or problems with vocalization, the signs should be examined by a doctor. If the body temperature increases or if the skin on the face, neck or extremities changes, consult a doctor immediately. If the skin is scratched, the pain intensifies and other pathogens can get into the organism.

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of measles must be reported to the doctor, so that a medical examination appears absolutely necessary. The doctor will usually quickly determine the typical course of the disease and the typical symptoms of measles. Above all, the two- part fever curve and the clearly visible skin rash quickly indicate measles.

In addition, blood tests can also be done if the symptoms and the cause cannot be clearly clarified. Then the treatment begins, which mostly relates to the symptoms. No specific medication is prescribed for measles. Bed rest and rest are the two cornerstones of a speedy recovery.

Sometimes the affected child may experience photosensitivity during their measles infection. In this case, of course, darkening the room helps. Unpleasant accompanying symptoms such as cough, headache and fever can be alleviated by taking medication.

However, the most important treatment against measles is preventive vaccination. Talk to your family doctor about this in good time.

Outlook & Forecast

The prognosis is mixed. In Germany, about 0.1 percent of all those infected die. In developing countries, there is a significantly higher mortality rate due to a lack of care and poor hygienic conditions. In ten to twenty percent of those affected in this country, permanent damage to the brain remains. This results in paralysis and personality abnormalities. The intensity of the complications varies. The risk group for permanent health impairment includes small children up to the age of five and adults from the age of majority. Contrary to what might be expected, unborn children are protected by their mothers’ antibodies. They benefit from this up to the sixth month of life.

On the other hand, the prospects for people who have survived a measles infection are excellent. You will not be able to get infected again for the rest of your life. The body has made enough antibodies.

It can be assumed that a mild course of the disease can be endured without medical supervision. Rest and bed rest are important anyway. There is no specific drug to fight the virus. However, fever and pain can reach dangerous levels. Patients who then do without therapy not only risk complications. In fact, death can also occur.


Infectious diseases such as measles often need good follow-up care after they have healed. It aims to strengthen the immune system, regenerate those affected and, above all, to prevent the disease from flaring up again. Those affected should try to focus on a positive healing process despite the adversity. To establish the right attitude, relaxation exercises and meditation can help calm and focus the mind. This is a basic requirement for recovery.

In addition, the immune system can be strengthened by a number of measures that are in the hands of the patient. This includes a healthy diet, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. It is also important not to start sporting activities too early if the person concerned is not fit enough for it.

The function of the intestine is often impaired by medication given as part of the infection. This applies in particular to the administration of antibiotics. A non-stressful diet helps with follow-up care. Yoghurt products are often able to rebuild a disturbed intestinal flora.

You can do that yourself

In the case of measles, bed rest and rest apply in the first place. Sleep promotes the recovery process and is just as important as an appropriate diet. What is recommended: drink a lot and eat food with lots of vitamins and minerals. In addition to the proven cod liver oil, fruit and vegetables – especially papaya, oranges, broccoli and spinach – as well as chicken broth and rusks are also available. Babies and small children in particular should ensure that they are adequately supplied with liquids and nutrients.

Warm or cold compresses and applications with aloe vera or eucalyptus help against the flu-like symptoms. The typical skin rash is relieved with a damp towel. Another home remedy is vinegar socks: a pair of cotton socks dipped in vinegar and worn under a pair of dry socks after wringing them out for a moment. This cools and dissipates excess heat. In addition, attention should be paid to sufficiently high humidity and darkness in the bedroom or children’s room. Regular ventilation keeps the air fresh and the cough should go away quickly.

If the symptoms do not subside after a few days, it is best to consult a doctor.