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Measles (Red Measles, Rubeola)

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What is it?

  • Measles is an infection caused by a virus.
  • It occurs most often in the late winter and spring.
  • Your child is more likely to develop measles if they have not been vaccinated or if they travel to other countries without being vaccinated.

Signs and Symptoms?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever that lasts for a couple of days
  • Cough, runny nose, and red and watery eyes that follow the fever
  • Small red spots with bluish-white centers inside mouth (Koplick spots)
  • Rash that starts on the face and upper neck and spreads down the body before spreading to the arms, hands, legs and feet.
  • After about five days, the rash fades in the same order it appeared.
  • In severe cases, measles can cause swelling of the brain. This can lead to seizures, permanent brain damage, hearing loss, or death.

How does it spread?

  • Rubeola is mainly spread through the air. It can be caught just by being in a room with a person with measles or where someone with measles has been recently.
  • The virus can survive in the air up to two hours.
  • This virus is very contagious up to 4 days before the rash or signs of illness starts.
  • Children with immune system problems often stay contagious much longer.

How to decrease the spread?

  • Rubeola is included in the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Ask your doctor if you or your children are not immune.

Recommended Absence:

  • Anyone in the infectious stage of Rubeola must stay away from day care, school and work for at least four days after the appearance of the rash.
  • Measles must be reported to the Medical Officer of Health as required by the Health Promotion and Protection Act.

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