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Childhood-diseases

Measles

Measles is a serious but common childhood illness caused by a viral infection. Learn more about the symptoms, diagnosis, causes, treatment and prevention of measles in children here.

What is measles?

The measles virus is spread via droplets from the nose and throat of people infected with measles.

Who gets measles?

In some developing countries that don’t have measles vaccination programmes, measles is still common in children under the age of two.

Causes of measles

Measles is caused by a virus and is highly contagious, spreading easily amongs people who are not vaccinated.

Preventing measles

Measles vaccinations are given to South African children at nine and 15 months to prevent them from developing measles.

Treating measles

Many children diagnosed with measles can be treated safely at home, however in certain situations, your child's doctor may recommend a course of antibiotics.

Symptoms of measles

High fever, runny nose, a cough, and red, inflamed eyes could all be in indication of measles.

Diagnosing measles

Measles is often diagnosed by the characteristics of the rash although laboratory tests can be used for a definitive diagnosis.

Risk factors for measles

People with compromised immunity and those who haven't been vaccinated are particularly at risk of measles.

Complications of measles

There are a number of serious complications that can occur in patients with measles. These include croup, pneumonia, diarrhoea and encephalitis.

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