Measles Home > Measles Treatment

There is no treatment that can kill the measles virus, so treatment focuses on supportive care, or the relief of symptoms. Supportive care can include intravenous fluids, medications to control fever or pain, and antibiotics to treat secondary infections from bacteria.

An Overview of Measles Treatment

There is currently no proven treatment that can kill the measles virus; therefore, measles treatment focuses on providing relief of measles symptoms as the body fights the virus. This is called supportive care.
 
Supportive Care for Treating Measles
Supportive care can include:
 
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Medications to control fever or pain
  • Antibiotics to treat secondary infections from bacteria
  • Good nursing care.
     
Vitamin A as Part of Measles Treatment
In developing countries, malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency, and severe measles are common. For these situations, the treatment of measles should include vitamin A medication for two days, starting as soon as a measles diagnosis is made. This treatment has been shown to decrease the risk of blindness and death.
 

What Is the Outcome Following Treatment?

The majority of people with measles recover, but measles complications can be dangerous. Six to twenty percent of the people who get the disease will get an ear infection, diarrhea, or even pneumonia. One out of 1,000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and about 1 out of 1,000 will die.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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