Most people will recover from measles after around 7 to 10 days, but sometimes it can lead to serious complications.
It's estimated around 1 in every 5,000 people with measles will die as a result of the infection.
Complications of measles are more likely to develop in certain groups of people, including:
Children who are older than one year and otherwise healthy have the lowest risk of developing complications.
More common complications of measles include:
About 1 in every 15 children with measles will develop complications like these.
Less common complications of measles include:
In rare cases, measles can lead to:
If you're not immune to measles and you become infected while you're pregnant, there's a risk of:
If you're pregnant and you think you've come into contact with someone with measles and you know you're not immune, you should see your GP as soon as possible. They can advise you about treatment to reduce your risk of developing the condition.
Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department or call 999 for an ambulance if you or your child have measles and develop:
These symptoms may be a sign of a serious bacterial infection requiring admission to hospital and treatment with antibiotics .
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. Anyone can get measles if they haven't been vaccinated or they haven't had it before, although it's most common in young children.
Measles starts with cold-like symptoms that develop about 10 days after becoming infected. This is followed a few days later by the measles rash. Initial symptoms include; a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, watering eyes, swollen eyelids, etc.
There's no specific treatment for measles, but the condition usually improves within 7 to 10 days. Your GP will probably suggest taking things easy at home until you're feeling better.
More common complications of measles include: diarrhoea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. Middle ear infection (otitis media), which can cause earache. Eye infection (conjunctivitis) inflammation of the voice box (laryngitis) pneumonia, bronchitis and croup ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ infections of the airways and lungs.
You can avoid catching measles by having the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. If the MMR vaccine isn't suitable for you , a treatment called human normal immunoglobulin (HNIG) can be used if you're at immediate risk of catching measles.