Hello, I'm Dr Rupal Shah

Hello, I'm Dr Rupal Shah.

I'm a GP in Battersea in London,
at the Bridge Lane Group Practice.

Measles is a viral illness.

It's spread through droplet
transmission, so air-to-air contact.

It presents with a fever, cold symptoms,

and then a few days
after those symptoms first appear

you tend to get a generalised rash.

You may also get
little spots in your mouth,

just in the inside of your cheek,

which are little red spots with
a white head, called Koplik's spots,

and those are very diagnostic
of measles.

So if you haven't had measles before
and you haven't been vaccinated,

then it could affect anybody,
children or adults.

It can be quite a nasty illness.

People are usually quite unwell
during the acute phase

when they've got the high fever
and just before the rash develops.

It's really quite a nasty,
unpleasant sort of illness.

It can lead to other complications

and probably the most common one
is a pneumonia,

so a chest infection
as a result of the measles.

For uncomplicated measles
there's no specific treatment

because it is a viral illness.

If you do develop another complication,
like pneumonia,

then you might need antibiotics
to cover that.

If you make sure that your child
has been immunised with the MMR,

so measles, mumps and rubella vaccine,
and gets both doses at 13 months

and again
between the ages of three and five,

they should be immune against measles.

If your child hasn't had MMR

but you know they've been in contact
with another child who has got measles,

then you should go and see your GP

because giving the MMR
within 72 hours of the first contact

might result in your child
being immune to measles.