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Can MEASLES present without rash?

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Is it possible to get measles without the rash? There was a warning issued at my local shopping centre of a measles outbreak. I'm 34 and had a severe allergic reaction to MMR vaccine as a child so I never had the second dose. I've had all the symptoms for the last 2 weeks listed in the health warning except a rash. Did I just have flu or did I contract measles?

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 30 Doctors Online

Hello. Thank you for posting your query at
I understand your concern.
Measles without a rash is extremely unlikely and occurs only in the rarest of cases. Moreover you're 34 and if you're immunocompetent then you should contract measles at your age.
Did you come in contact with anyone who had measles? What are your other symptoms? Measles will present with severe fever, the characteristic rash, cough, at times conjunctivitis and Koplik Spots, which are bluish spots on the inner surface of your cheeks. The koplik spots are again characteristic and if it is not there, then again measles is very unlikely.
Did you receive any treatment for your flu?
I feel it is flu, but based on your answer i can guide you further.
If you have come in contact with someone having measles, there is a slight possibility otherwise as i said, it is extremely unlikely.
Feel free to discuss further,

Patient replied :

Thanks for your reply. To my knowledge I haven't been in contact with anyone with measles but I was at the shopping centre every day during the same period a child who was diagnosed with measles had been frequenting the shops regularly.
I started with swollen glands in my throat for 3 days with no other symptoms. Then a head cold, fever, sensitivity to light, aching muscles, sneezing, extreme exhaustion and laboured breathing. I had 4 days off work and just drank plenty of water and rested. It's been about 10 days now and I'm left with a runny nose and a harsh dry cough.
I didn't see a doctor because I thought it was flu and they just say fluids and rest which is what I did. Then I heard about the measles warning and just wondered had I contracted that. I haven't been sick (cold or flu) in about 2 years.
I just checked the inside of my cheeks and there's one or two small white spots nearer the back of my mouth. I don't know if they are normally there.

Hello. Thank you for posting the follow up.
It seems like you have pharyngitis and the white spots are due to the lymphoid tissue aggregation in the sites of infection. It does not sound like measles.
I will advise you the following medicines :
1) Tab. Levofloxacin 500 mg twiice daily for 5-7 days depending on the severity.
2) Tab. Claritin 10 mg once at bed time. ( this will reduce your runny nose and cough )
3) Syp. Benadryl 2 tea spoons twice daily if there is a lot of coughing.
Once you take the medicines, your symptoms should be relieved in a few days.
Feel free to discuss further,

Patient replied :

Thank you,

Hello. Please let me know in 3 days if your symptoms are resolving.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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