Measles Signs and Symptoms in Adults

Measles are one of the most contagious and highly infectious viral illnesses and there are fears that the world is set to see a measles outbreak, with more cases in the first three months of 2011 than the whole of 2010 put together. Measles can affect any age range and the purpose of this article is to give you the measles signs and symptoms in adults.

In recent years, measles cases have been on the rise. There are many reasons for this, although many doctors believe that due to the worry over the MMR vaccine, where there was a possible link between autism and the vaccine, many parents opted not to vaccinate their child. Of course there are other reasons for an increase in the number of measles cases, such as a stronger strain for instance. The MMR vaccine is said to protect you from measles, though it is still possible to contract measles in some cases.

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Adults who may be at risk of catching measles are those that have not had the vaccine for whatever reason and those whose immune system is lower than the general adult population. Other groups in adults most at risk of contracting measles are:

·         Those who are malnourished

·         Those with a Vitamin A Deficiency

·         The seriously ill, including those with Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer etc.

·         Those with Heart and Kidney problems

·         Adults with Down’s Syndrome

It will take the measles infection around 10 days in your body before you will actually notice any symptoms. However at this stage you are highly infectious, which makes measles harder to contain because at this point you will not usually feel unwell and will continue in everyday activities.

Signs and symptoms of measles:

The first sign that you have measles is a feeling of a bad cold which is often accompanied by a high temperature, runny nose, a cough and sore, painful eyes.

Following this, white spots may then start to develop at the back of the throat and inside the mouth as the virus originates here, and from there will spread around the body- often to the lungs first, which is why a dry, horrible cough is generally present.

Other symptoms of measles may include:

·         Going off food- no appetite

·         Diarrhoea

·         Ear ache

·         Sensitivity to light

·         Vomiting

·         Tiredness

·         Aches and pains

After you have had symptoms for about 4 days, you may notice a red blotchy rash developing on your head, neck and chest that spreads around your entire body. This usually takes a couple of days and after a few days the rash will turn brown in colour, and eventually fade.

If you have any of these symptoms then you should call your local hospital and ask for advice. Avoid as much contact as possible with other people, and it is especially important not to go into work or pursue leisure activities while you have symptoms and for 4-5 days after they subside- as you are still infectious!


Image via Wikipedia

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  1. Good info with nice pictues. Thank you Emmie.

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