The measles can be divided into stages, according to the onset of symptoms. The most evident signs are skin rashes, characterized by small reddish spots that affect the body.
This symptom is called erythematous maculopapular rash. Despite affecting a large part or all of the skin tissue, the spots are not harmful to health, being one of the most harmless symptoms of the disease.
It is the respiratory problems that can cause the greatest risks to the patient’s health. In most cases, these symptoms are uncomplicated and progress significantly well.
However, part of the patients may present complications of the pulmonary condition, otitis, sinusitis and central nervous system involvement.
In the first days after infection, the organism still does not show symptoms or signs, as the virus is in the incubation phase. The period lasts, on average, 10 days, but it can vary between 7 and 18 days after the infection of the organism.
Know each of the measles phases:
Prodromal or prodrome stage
Initially, there is a manifestation of inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, pharynx, larynx and bronchi, in addition to eye irritation. This phase is called prodrome.
It is possible to notice red and sore eyes, often with a tendency to water. At this stage, the disease can even be mistaken for a cold or flu , because there is usually coughing , sneezing, runny nose and hoarseness.
In some cases, there may be cough with sputum and pain in the chest area.
About 3 days after the initial symptoms, the patient may experience fever , headaches and muscle pain, decreased appetite and malaise.
Between 12 and 72 hours, lesions appear on the roof of the mouth and on the inside of the cheek, but the condition usually occurs within the last 24 hours of the prodrome.
The wounds are small and whitish, as if they were small canker sores. These lesions are called Koplik’s spots and precede the appearance of skin lesions (rash). Many patients experience a slight reduction in fever during this period, which can last between 2 or 3 days.
The most characteristic symptom of measles is skin rashes, which are reddish in appearance and can cause burning or itching.
The lesions usually begin in the regions close to the ear and head, and continue to spread throughout the body. All regions of the skin can be affected, including the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Symptoms may worsen, which is the acute phase of the disease. In addition, there may be other manifestations, such as:
- Increased secretions in the upper respiratory tract;
- High mucus production in the lungs;
- Hoarse voice;
- Inflamed pharynx and mouth;
- Elevated fever;
- Ill-being aggravated.
At this stage, the stains darken, causing a fine flaking. However, fever and cough decrease considerably. Among the main signs are:
- Intense conjunctivitis;
- Ear infection;
Measles causes less itching than other diseases, like chicken pox . However, it is possible that in the rash stage, when skin rashes occur, the patient will experience burning and itching.