Symptoms usually appear 10 to 12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure. Measles typically begins with:
- High fever
- Runny nose (coryza)
- Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. Not everyone will have Koplik spots.
Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. The rash usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body.
When the rash appears, a person's fever may spike to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.