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This is a highly contagious virus, and it is airborne spread. The virus can survive in a room for several hours after an infected person has been in the room. Common symptoms include a runny nose, a severe cough and high fever. Some people who get infected experience light sensitivity. After the first symptoms, the characteristic rash appears, typically starting in the face and, over the course of a few days, spreading over the entire body like a big, dark rash.

A pregnant woman can get extremely sick, and the infection can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy for the woman and the baby in the womb. There is no treatment for measles.

Diagnosis is made through the clinical history as well as blood tests and cultures. If you have had the measles or been vaccinated, you are immune and have antibodies against the virus. The antibodies protect you and the baby, both in your belly and as a newborn.