What are the initial symptoms of measles?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

The first sign of measles is usually a high fever (often >104o F [40o C]) that typically lasts 4-7 days. This prodromal phase is marked by malaise, fever, anorexia, and the classic triad of conjunctivitis (see the image below), cough, and coryza (the “3 Cs”). Other possible associated symptoms include photophobia, periorbital edema, and myalgias.

Measles conjunctivitis. Measles conjunctivitis.

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