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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Anyone have any experience of measles?

(33 Posts)
iloveblue Tue 07-Dec-10 20:11:39


DS2 (aged 4) came out in a horrid rash this afternoon (I was at work). He was at DS1's school play with DH and MIL. They popped into Boots round the corner to ask the pharmacist who said - it looks like measles, get him straight to the docs.
So DH took him straight to GP surgery where they were put in isolation room.

It then took 6 doctors and a nurse to diagnose measles. Apparently DH said they were googling it on laptop at one point!
They said it is very rare nowadays due to the MMR jab (which DS had) and the GP hadn't seen a case for 20 yrs.

DS2 has to stay inside for 4 days as it is very contagious - and they are sending us a swab kit to do and send off to diagnose formally.

He doesn't seem to bad - he's just over a bad case of tonsilitis, but is absolutely covered in spots.

Has anyone experienced this with their DC?
How long will rash last for?


mamaloco Wed 08-Dec-10 05:24:49

I have over the summer, nobody believed me that it was contagious.
If it is measles the rash will last about 2 to 3 weeks as it "bruises".
It might last less because of the jab. DH lasted a week, DD1 a bit more and DD2 who is too small to have had the jab lasted more than 3 weeks as it made little bruises all over.
keep your DS out of bright lights, no TV.
You are all probably going to have it. I didn't catch it because I have been vaccinated as a kid AND had it too.
DD1 and DH both only been vaccinated.
good luck

OnEdge Wed 08-Dec-10 05:48:36

I remember having it as a kid. Not too bad really, just loved the 2 weeks off school with my Dad who also had it.l. Just a rash if I remember

Karoleann Wed 08-Dec-10 18:06:40

DS1 had it at 20 months, six months after his MMR. Very nasty conjunctivitis with it - luckily didn't turn out to be serious. We were advised to stay in for 10 days, rash was probably there, faintly, for a couple of weeks.
It took several drs to diagnose as well, and was quite scary at the time.
We never found out where he'd picked it up from, luckily none of his little friends had it.
Hope he feels better soon x

iloveblue Wed 08-Dec-10 20:03:12

Thanks everyone. Really hope we don't get it too - DS1 has had MMR vaccination but not sure about DH and I.

His rash looks awful today - very blotchy and confluent. I've just googled it and very characteristic of measles apparently.

MariaBN6 Fri 10-Dec-10 21:44:09

Had it when I was four. Just rash, not scary, doctor wasn't scaremongering or anything like that. Does anyone know why all the panic these days?

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo Fri 10-Dec-10 22:04:53

Although it's highly contagious, there's no guarantee that the rest of you will get it. My dad has never had measles, despite as a child deliberately being put to bd with his ill cousins, and all of us having it. However, you need to bear in mind that, if you do get it, you will be infectious before you show any clear symptoms. I remember from when we were children that at first we seemed to be going down with fluey colds: achey, a bit of a cough, a bit sniffly, maybe a sore throat, a bit grizzley and tired. The sort of thing you would not necessarily attach much importance to. So if any if you feel like this during the next 2-3 weeks, stay at home. Your Ds will continue to be infectious for 4 or 5 more days.

His temperature could get quite high, you'll need to keep it down with paracetamol and perhaps sponging with tepid water, too.

Hope he is over it soon.

ronshar Fri 10-Dec-10 22:12:10

In answer Measles can be fatal. It can cause blindness, deafness and brain damage.

That is why it is so important to stay home if you have it.
Or get immunised.

ronshar Fri 10-Dec-10 22:13:17

Oh and it isnt just these days there is so much panic. Just in the oldy days people were resigned to losing a child if Measles broke out in there community.

mummytime Fri 10-Dec-10 22:20:16

One of my cousins nearly died of measles, thats why I get cross when people say its just a childhood disease. But as your son is vaccinated he should get a mild form (but do keep him away from others and warn school/nursery etc.).
BTW my cousin's brother and sister had it first, but mild as they had been vaccinated, he was too young so got a full dose, and was in hospital etc. for ages.

Good luck!

bubbleymummy Sat 11-Dec-10 00:52:26

hmm ronshar I'm not sure too many people were resigned to losing their children over measles tbh. I think it was just widely accepted as a childhood disease and it was very common. In the majority of children it is self limiting. Malnourished children and those with immune deficiencies are at the greatest risk of complications. Measles deaths dropped sharply with the introduction of antibiotics because they could be used to treat complications such as pneumonia.

Mummytime, I'm not sure that there's any way of knowing whether you will get a milder case because you've been vaccinated or if you would have had a mild case anyway. If the vaccine had worked he shouldn't have caught it at all!

Op, I'm sure your son will be fine. At least now he'll have lifelong immunity! I hope he feels better soon.

nymphadora Sat 11-Dec-10 07:56:50

Dd1 had it & she just had spots
Dd2 had it & she was ill & left her with hearing problems.
Both had had MMR. Dd1 wasn't diagnosed til after dd2 although she was first. She had been at pre school until then as we were told it was just a rash.
My Mam got it at the same time & ended up in hospital.

ronshar Sat 11-Dec-10 10:04:03

My younger sisters had Measles when we were all small.
One has no long term trouble. The other is still suffering 30 years later, with her ears and throat!
I clearly remember my mums terror that the girls would die because when she was a child Measles meant death!
In pre immunisation times infectious diseases meant children died.

I am very thankful that we live in times when that is no longer true.

onimolap Sat 11-Dec-10 10:15:58

I 'd guess that most of us over mid-40s would have had experience of measles as the first vaccines only came out about 1970.

The rate for the "minor" complications varies, depending on which source you look at, but for the serious ones it's about 1:1000 or 1:3000 (depending on what is included as serious). The highest risk is for the very young (stated to be the under 2s or under 5s, depending on source), the malnourished, and those with underlying conditions.

To put this into context, the risk of stillbirth, neonatal death or condtion indicating termination for serious abnormality is 1:100.

But you can avoid or mitigate the measles risk. The serious complications are rare, but absolutely devastating.

I had measles when I was 5; I was very I'll for the first two days but perked up straight after that. I don't remember how long I was isolated for, as it was during the school holidays so was at home anyhow.

iloveblue Sat 11-Dec-10 10:31:54

Interesting responses - thanks for the info.
He has been much better over the past few days - rash on face has virtually gone and the rash on his body has gone down and is starting to fade.
We got a swaab kit through the post yesterday which I did and sent straight back off so we should know in a few weeks if it definitely is measles, but I'm pretty sure it is from what I've heard and read.
I havn't heard of any other cases though - so very puzzled as to where he may have picked it up. He hadn't been at nursery for a week and a half before rash appeared because of tonsilitis - could he have picked it up before that?
Will give nursery a ring to let them know anyway.

3littlefrogs Sat 11-Dec-10 10:40:00

Did he have antibiotics for the tonsillitis?

ronshar Sat 11-Dec-10 10:43:58

That sounds like good news. Your ds is obviously a tough cookie. The tonsillitus probably opened up way in for the Measles.

Measles is a notifiable disease so I am surprised the GP didnt inform you of the need to let nursery know straight away.

ragged Sat 11-Dec-10 10:46:27

Someone last year(?) did a very long thread on her family experience of Measles -- I think it was in Chat so you can't find it. Family had decided not to give MMR to most the many kids so it swept thru them one by one. Made a vivid impression on me -- I couldn't go get DS's overdue MMR fast enough after reading the account. Keeping the house dark and quiet for days, and very thirsty and hot children. TBH, your child doesn't sound that ill, but I guess measles can vary a lot in severity.

iloveblue Sat 11-Dec-10 10:49:36

Yes, he did have antibiotics for the tonsillitis, and he did have his MMR and the booster.

onimolap Sat 11-Dec-10 10:52:00

Itvis a notifiable disease, but only when it's been confirmed as measles (swab test result takes anything from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how busy the lab is). If confirmed, the local health authority's public health department will inform the nursery and all other necessary contacts.

This is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted: the patient is infectious for approximately 2 days before onset of rash until 5 days after the rash has appeared. You should keep DS at home for atvleast 5 days, or longer if he's still got the rash (check with the doctor). If he stays free of complications, it should be done with within a week.

3littlefrogs Sat 11-Dec-10 10:53:00

I asked only because a penicillin allergy can produce a nasty rash and illness. If the swab comes back negative for measles, the GP should consider penicillin allergy as that has serious implications.

Hope your ds gets better soon.

iloveblue Sat 11-Dec-10 11:01:26

A penicillin allergy did cross my mind frogs, he had Amoxycillin which he has had before with no problems. Also he finished the course on Monday (i think) and rash came out on Tuesday - wouldn't it have appeared sooner?

3littlefrogs Sat 11-Dec-10 11:03:45

Yes - it would normally have come out sooner. Just a thought to be considered though.

Appletrees Sat 11-Dec-10 11:07:47

If he HAS had measles there are great benefits to his immunity. Hope he's ok. Vitamin A is supposed to limit complications very efficiently. Well it does, they hand it out in biscuits in developing countries because measles depletes it in the body.

iloveblue Sat 11-Dec-10 11:09:36

Thanks for the Vit A info appletrees.

I will definitely keep the allergy possibility in mind frogs if the swab comes back negative.

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