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Measles (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Measles

Both rubella and rubeola have become so uncommon that patients normally present to their physician for a diagnosis of a rash and associated illness. In general, both children and adults who have a fever and a rash should contact their physician. People who have come in contact with an infected person should also be evaluated to see if they need special measures to keep them from getting sick. Normally, measles is not a disease that requires emergency care.

Measles Diagnosis

  • Depending on the symptoms, the doctor may diagnose measles based on the patient's history and physical exam alone.
  • In questionable cases, the doctor can perform specialized blood tests to help with the diagnosis, but these tests usually are not needed.
  • Blood tests can also be used to see if a person is immune to measles.

Self-Care at Home for Measles

Although there is no cure for measles, there are steps that can make the disease more tolerable. These include the following:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Sponge baths with lukewarm water may reduce discomfort due to fever.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help avoid dehydration.
  • A humidifier or vaporizer may ease the cough.
  • Pain relievers and fever reducers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, Liquiprin Drops, and other brands) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and other brands) can help with symptoms when used according to directions. Remember never to give aspirin to children or teenagers because it may cause a disease known as Reye's syndrome.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/2/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Measles »

Measles virus (MV), a negative-sense enveloped RNA virus, is a member of the Morbillivirus genus in the Paramyxoviridae family.

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