Babies are often sick with a fever, runny nose, cough and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the surface of the eye) for a few days before the typical measles rash begins – and this is usually inside the mouth. The red, spotty rash then appears behind the ears and face and spreads to the body and limbs. Symptoms begin to improve after three days.
Measles can have serious complications in young babies – pneumonia, croup, eye infections, diarrhoea and (rarely) encephalitis. And because it’s highly contagious and a notifiable disease (which means it is required by law that it is reported to the department of health), Dr Weiss says that even if you only suspect your baby has measles you must take him to a doctor.