Diagnosing and Treating Measles Online

Measles, or rubeola, is a very contagious viral infection of the respiratory system that spreads through contact with infected mucus and saliva. You can contract the measles virus through either direct contact with an infected person or through indirect contact with airborne particles released by an infected person when they cough or sneeze.

The measles virus can live on surfaces for several hours. As the infected particles enter the air and settle on surfaces, anyone within close proximity can become infected. Also, drinking from an infected person’s glass, or sharing eating utensils with an infected person, greatly increases your risk of infection.

Measles is a leading cause of death in children worldwide. Of the 114,900 global deaths related to measles in 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that most of the victims were under the age of 5 who had not been immunized against measles.

Vaccination at a young age, prior to coming into contact with a person carrying the measles virus, is the best way to prevent becoming sick from them. If you have not received a measles vaccine, and you come into contact with an infected person, contact your Amwell physician to arrange for a measles vaccine within 72 hours of contact to prevent infection. You can also prevent an infection with a dose of immunoglobulin taken within six days of contact with an infected person.

Also contact your Amwell physician immediately if you suspect you have the measles to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the severity of your case. With our video capabilities, you can bring your phone, tablet or desktop with video close to your measles rash, so your provider can get a clear view. Your diagnosis will be based on the physical exam, duration, severity of symptoms and your medical history.

Our platform has an image upload feature that is extremely helpful for both providers and patients. With this feature, our physicians can get a precise, detailed look at the measles rash before the visit even begins. This feature is also very useful to see how the rash has spread. If you have a picture from when the rash began, it is helpful for our providers to see the comparison. For best results we recommend pictures be taken in bright, natural light, close to the rash and from a few different angles. If you can give a size perspective, like laying a dime near the rash, this can be extremely helpful, as well.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and precautions associated with having the measles, as well as treatments. There is no known cure for the measles; however your physician can recommend treatments to help ease the discomfort associated with the measles including:

  • Acetaminophen to relieve fever and muscle aches
  • Rest to help boost your immune system
  • Plenty of fluids (six to eight glasses of water a day)
  • Humidifier to ease a cough and sore throat
  • Vitamin A supplements

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See below for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-317-0280 to speak to a medical professional about your symptoms or conditions.

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