Measles is an infection that spreads very easily and can cause serious problems in some people. Having the MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent it.
Check if you or your child has measles
Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth.
The first symptoms of measles include:
- a high temperature
- a runny or blocked nose
- a cough
- red, sore, watery eyes
Spots in the mouth
Small white spots may appear inside the cheeks and on the back of the lips a few days later. These spots usually last a few days.
The measles rash
A rash usually appears a few days after the cold-like symptoms.
Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if:
- you think you or your child may have measles
- you've been in close contact with someone who has measles and you've not had measles before or you've not had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine
- you've been in close contact with someone who has measles and you're pregnant – measles can be serious in pregnancy
- you have a weakened immune system and think you have measles or have been in close contact with someone with measles
Measles can spread to others easily. Call your GP surgery before you go in. They may suggest talking over the phone.
You can also call 111 or get help from 111 online.
Call 999 or go to A&E if:
You or your child has measles and:
- shortness of breath
- a high temperature that does not come down after taking paracetamol or ibuprofen
- seizures (fits)