Child Health


It is a viral infection that most often affects children. It usually goes away within 7 to 10 days. Anyone can get measles if they have not been immunized before, but it is more common in young children. Some people think that measles is just a simple rash and fever that goes away within a few days, but measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years.

It occurs due to transmission of the measles virus into the body.

The incubation period:
A period of 11-12 days after exposure to the virus, after which measles symptoms begin to appear, and the average time from exposure to infection to the appearance of the rash is 14 days.

Methods of transmission of the disease:
The virus lives in the nose and throat of an infected person, so it is transmitted to others through cough or sneeze droplets contaminated with the virus. This droplet can also land on surfaces and the virus remains active (infectious) for a few hours. Therefore, a healthy person can acquire the infection by touching those surfaces. The virus can be transmitted to others from the beginning of symptoms to the fourth day after the appearance of the rash.

Stages and symptoms:
Infection occurs in sequential stages over a period of two to three weeks:

  • The stage of onset of non-specific symptoms and signs: Measles usually begins with a mild to moderate fever, often accompanied by a persistent cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis and sore throat, and the appearance of small grayish-white spots in the mouth. These symptoms may last for two to four days.
  • The stage of acute illness and skin rash: The rash begins to appear and consists of small red spots, appearing on the face, especially behind the ears and at the border of the hair, then they begin to spread in the arms and torso, then over the thighs until they reach the legs and feet, covering most areas of the body, and during the stage of its spread.
  • The rash gradually fades, starting from the face and ending with the thighs and feet.

When to see a doctor:
When exposed to an infected person or when a rash appears, as well as when symptoms are suspected.


  • Otitis media (the most common).
  • Diarrhea.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Inflammation of the meninges (membranes lining the brain).
  • Problems in pregnancy: miscarriage or premature birth.

Groups most at risk of developing measles complications:
Measles can be serious in all age groups. However, there are several groups that are more likely to suffer from measles complications:

  • Children under one-year-old.
  • Children suffering from malnutrition.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People with a weakened immune system (such as leukemia or HIV infection).

There is no specific medicine that treats measles. Symptoms usually improve within 7 to 10 days, but their symptoms can be alleviated by:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Dim the lighting of the place and close the curtains to reduce the sensitivity of the eyes to light.

The following medications may be prescribed for measles:

  • Antipyretic.
  • Antibiotics (in the event of a bacterial infection such as pneumonia or ear infection).


  • The triple viral vaccine (MMR) is the best way to prevent measles, it is one of the routine vaccinations given to children.
  • For people who cannot demonstrate that they have evidence of immunity to measles, infection after contact with infected people can be prevented by either giving the MMR vaccine within 72 hours of exposure to measles, or immunoglobulin (IG) within six days of exposure.

The vaccine:

  • In general, a person is considered safe if he has been infected with the disease before or has received the vaccine previously. The vaccine is usually given as a community immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella (the triple viral vaccine), and two doses of it are recommended before the child enters school:
  • The first dose is given at the age of 12 months and the second at the age of 15 months.

Contraindications for taking the triple viral vaccine:

  • Pregnant women or women who plan to become pregnant within the next four weeks.
  • People who suffer from a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccination or to one of the components of the vaccine.
  • People with a severely weakened immune system, or those taking oral steroids.

Last Update : 06 November 2023 11:12 AM
Reading times :