[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 2,540
Citations 0
JAMA Dermatology Patient Page
December 2019


Author Affiliations
  • 1College of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown
  • 2Division of Dermatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown
JAMA Dermatol. 2019;155(12):1436. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.2663

Measles is an infection caused by the measles virus. It spreads through coughing, sneezing, and contact with contaminated surfaces. It usually causes coldlike symptoms and a rash, but sometimes it can be fatal.

Anyone not given the measles vaccine or who has received only 1 dose can get measles. Children who are too young to be vaccinated have a high risk of infection. Unvaccinated people who travel internationally, attend college, or work in a hospital are also at increased risk. People with vitamin A deficiency may have a more severe case.

The first measles symptoms are high fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite, and conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes). After a few days, Koplik spots appear inside of the mouth and can look like grains of salt. Shortly thereafter, a rash of red, flat to slightly raised spots develops. It starts on the face and spreads downward to the rest of the body. The symptoms may last for a week after the rash appears. Some people may have a more severe case that can lead to ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, or encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain that can be deadly). Measles can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery in pregnant women. An infected mother may also deliver a newborn with measles.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words