There's no specific treatment for measles, but the condition usually improves within 7 to 10 days. A GP will probably suggest taking things easy at home until you're feeling better.
Stay away from work or school for at least 4 days from when the measles rash first appears to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
You should also try to avoid contact with people who are more vulnerable to the infection, such as young children and pregnant women.
If the symptoms of measles are causing discomfort for you or your child, there are some things you can do to treat these while you wait for your body to fight off the virus.
Controlling fever and relieving pain
Liquid infant paracetamol can be used for young children. Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years old.
Speak to a pharmacist if you're not sure which medicines are suitable for your child.
Drink plenty of fluids
If your child has a high temperature, make sure they drink plenty of fluids as they may be at risk of dehydration.
Keeping hydrated may also help reduce throat discomfort caused by coughing.
Treating sore eyes
You can gently clean away any crustiness from your child's eyelids and lashes using cotton wool soaked in water.
Closing curtains or dimming lights can help if bright light is hurting their eyes.
Treating cold-like symptoms
For example, it might help your child if they sit in a hot, steamy bathroom. Or you could put a wet towel on a warm radiator to moisten the air, which may help ease your child's cough.
Drinking warm drinks, particularly ones containing lemon or honey, may also help to relax the airways, loosen mucus, and soothe a cough.
Honey should not be given to babies under 12 months.
Spotting signs of serious illness
If you or your child has measles, you should keep an eye out for any signs of the serious complications that can sometimes develop.
Signs of a more serious problem include:
- shortness of breath
- a sharp chest pain that feels worse with breathing
- coughing up blood
- fits (convulsions)
Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department or call 999 for an ambulance if you or your child develop any of these symptoms.