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Measles is highly contagious and is a very severe childhood disease rarely contracted by adults. Immunisation is now recommended for all children as this disease can have serious complications. This is an infectious viral disease, characterised by small red dots that occur all over the body.


The symptoms of measles develop in two stages.

In the first stage, your child will have cold-like symptoms such as cough, a husky voice, and a runny nose, eyes, and mouth. The child's eyes may be red and watery (conjunctivitis). High fever and sneezing may also occur.

After the third or fourth day, the second stage commences. The child's temperature falls and a rash appears. This is characterised by raised spots which are reddish in colour and tend to group together in patches. Spots may also appear in the mouth, where they resemble white grains of sand surrounded by an inflamed area. The temperature usually rises on the same day that the rash appears. After 2-3 days the skin may start to peel.


Like many other viruses, measles is spread by droplets of saliva which are carried through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Important notes

If you suspect that you or your child have measles, consult your healthcare professional.

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