The diagnostic approach to measles begins with obtaining a history of potential exposures and risk factors, performing a detailed physical examination, applying clinical definitions, and obtaining, if necessary, laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis. Where measles is common, the diagnosis is clinical. In regions where measles is rare, confirmation of the diagnosis by laboratory testing has become the norm. Although a clinical case definition has been developed for epidemiological purposes, measles can be difficult to distinguish from other febrile exanthems such as rubella, roseola, dengue, erythema infectiosum (parvovirus B19), EBV infection, zika virus infection, and drug eruptions.

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