What is Measles?

Measles is a very nasty virus which can make people extremely sick (and in some cases can even kill). It’s highly infectious and is generally spread by coughs and sneezes.

Early symptoms include:

  • High temperature
  • Cough
  • Conjunctivitis (painful, red eyes)
  • and sometimes small white spots on the inside of the mouth

A red, blotchy rash appears approximately 3 to 4 days later which usually begins on the face and spreads down over the rest of the body.


Is Measles like Chickenpox?

No! Measles isĀ much worse.

Although they are both viruses which cause red spots, measles does much more damage and can last for a lot longer. Chickenpox is annoying and itchy, but it goes away after a week and is unlikely to leave any lasting effects.


Is there a cure?

No, but don’t panic. Once you get vaccinated you should be protected against measles.

The most common measles vaccination is called the MMR, which protects people from measles, mumps, and rubella. This is usually received at age 1, with a booster shot at age 3.

If you haven’t been vaccinated (or if you aren’t sure) it’s important that you speak to your parents and/or doctor about being protected from measles. Public Health Wales would also appreciate you letting them know by answering this quick survey.



If you develop symptoms you should stay home as you will be contagious (this means other people can catch it from you).

Don’t go to the doctor. Instead phone them up or ring NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47. They can assess you over the phone and will tell you what to do next.


Learn more:

Measles Outbreak


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