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Measles: Signs and Symptoms

Virginia has reported a recent cases of the measles. The measles is a severe viral illness with these signs and symptoms during its first stage:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • redness of the eye(s)
  • cough

    During the second stage a red blotchy rash appears first on the face and then spreads throughout the body.

    If you suspect your patient has the measles don appropriate PPE. Since measles is spread by airborne dispersion fit your patient with a surgical mask or non-rebreather mask with high flow oxygen. If available, EMS providers should use a N-95 type mask to prevent inhalation of airborne droplets. Follow your organization protocols for ambulance, equipment, and personnel cleaning after transporting a measles patient. With any disease one of your best defenses is hand-washing before and after patient contact.

    VA Measles Fact Sheet
    CDC Measles Information Page

  • By Greg Friese

    Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

    Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.