What to ask a doctor about measles

If you suspect that you or your child has measles, you need to see your child’s doctor.

What you can do

  • Write down any symptoms you or your child is experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any recent travel.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you or your child is taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

For measles, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What’s the most likely cause of my or my child’s symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • Is there anything I can do to make my child more comfortable?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?

What to expect from your doctor

The doctor may ask that you come in before or after office hours to reduce the risk of exposing others to the measles. In addition, if the doctor believes that you or your child has the measles, he or she must report those findings to the local health department.

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • Have you or your child been vaccinated for the measles? If so, do you know when?
  • Have you traveled out of the country recently?
  • Does anyone else live in your household? If yes, have they been vaccinated for measles?

What you can do in the meantime

While you’re waiting to see the doctor:

  • Be sure you or your child stays well-hydrated. Pediatric electrolyte solutions, such as Pedialyte, or sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, can help you stay hydrated and maintain your electrolyte balance.
  • Bring a fever down safely. If a fever is making you or your child uncomfortable, medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Children’s Motrin, others) can help bring the fever down.

Don’t give aspirin to children or teenagers who have symptoms of measles. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 3, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. This is because aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in such children.


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