Measles is preventable by immunisation but high levels of coverage are required to prevent outbreaks of disease from occurring.
No specific treatment for measles is available except for supportive care.
Complications of measles are more common in immunocompromised and poorly nourished individuals and include pneumonia, laryngotracheitis, otitis media, and encephalitis.
Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by measles virus, characterised by a maculopapular rash, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, and a pathognomonic enanthem (Koplik's spots) with an incubation period of about 10 days.
History and exam
Key diagnostic factors
- potential exposure to measles
- unimmunised or vaccine failure
- Koplik's spots
- maculopapular rash
- exposure to measles virus
- no prior immunisation against measles
- failure to respond to measles vaccine
1st investigations to order
- measles-specific IgM and IgG serology (ELISA)
Investigations to consider
- acute and convalescent sera for measles-specific IgG
- measles RNA detection by PCR
- antigen detection by fluorescent antibody or PCR techniques
- isolation of virus in tissue culture system
- Parvovirus B19
- Recommended child and adolescent immunization schedule for ages 18 years or younger, United States, 2022
- Recommended adult immunization schedule for ages 19 years or older, United States, 2022
Measles, mumps, and rubella: should my child have the MMR vaccine?More Patient leaflets
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