Signs and Symptoms of Measles


Learn about the signs and symptoms of measles, which can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children.


According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention

7 to 14 days after coming in contact with the virus, these symptoms can occur:

  • high fever (may spike to more than 104°)
  • cough
  • runny nose (coryza)
  • red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)

2-3 days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.


3-5 days after symptoms begin a measles rash breaks out. It usually starts on face at the hairline and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet.

  • Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots
  • The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body
  • With the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.

The CDC warns, call your doctor immediately if you think you or your child have been exposed to measles.