A viral infection of the respiratory system, measles is caused by the rubeola virus. This contagious disease mostly affects children than adults. It has been observed that people who have vitamin deficiency are more susceptible to measles than others. The virus is present in the mucus of the throat and nose of the infected person. The infection starts to develop in the back of the throat, lymphatic system, and lungs. The infection then spreads to the eyes, urinary tract, central nervous system, and blood vessels. One of the most visible symptoms of measles is the appearance of rashes. It begins to appear soon after the virus enters the body.
Measles is a completely curable disease. People infected with the virus make a complete recovery in a short time. However, the recovery period highly depends on the immunity system. A person with a weak immune system are at a higher risk of complications caused by this disease. The complications include ear infection, bronchitis, severe diarrhea, low blood platelet count, pneumonia, and encephalitis in rare cases. Complication due to measles has often been noticed in children below the age of 5 years and adults above the age of 20 years. One of the best ways to prevent measles is to receive vaccination against the disease. Once the virus enters the body, the following measles symptoms manifest at least after 7 to 14 days. These symptoms of measles occur over different stages of the disease.
- Initial incubation: There are no symptoms of measles after first two weeks after the virus first enters the body. During this period the virus incubates in the body, mostly in the back of the throat and the nose.
- Post-incubation symptoms of measles: After the 14 days incubation period, visible symptoms of measles start showing in the infected person. In the beginning, the patient starts feeling feverish. This is followed by persistent dry cough, conjunctivitis (inflamed eyes), sore throat, and runny nose. These symptoms last for around two to three days.
- Development of rash and acute illness: Small red spots and bumps appear on the face, along with the hairline, and behind the ears. The first appearance of rashes is after three to four days of the initial symptoms. After a few days, the spots and bumps start appearing down the arms, the trunk, over the thighs, lower legs, and feet. The spots can appear in tight clusters. This makes the skin look splotchy and red. The appearance of rashes is accompanied by a fever. The fever can rise to 104-105.8 F. The fever fluctuates for as long as the virus is still active.
- Other symptoms: The above symptoms occur along with another group of symptoms of measles. These include swollen eyelids, inflamed eyes, watery eyes, sensitivity to light or photophobia, and sneezing. A person may also have body aches that can make them feel restless. Other symptoms of measles are Kopik’s spots. These appear inside the mouth, cheeks, and throat. These spots are small greyish-white with bluish-white centers.