My child developed a rash about a week after receiving the MMR vaccine. Could she have measles?
Laurel Schultz pediatrician
Don't worry, your child doesn't have full-blown measles. She's having a reaction to the live but weakened measles virus in the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR). Although the reaction looks like measles, your child isn't going to develop the disease itself with all its symptoms.
About 5 percent of children develop a rash after receiving the MMR vaccine, but the reaction is usually mild and doesn't require treatment. The rash can appear anytime between three and 28 days after the vaccination, although it usually shows up around the tenth day.
The rash typically starts as red dots on the chest and neck and fades away after a few days. In some cases it spreads to the rest of the body or the dots become raised bumps before fading away. Your child may have a mild fever along with the rash.
It's important to let your child's doctor know if your child has a fever or seems ill, if the rash spots are tiny or dark red, or if the spots don't blanch (turn white) when you apply pressure to them. These could be signs of another illness.
If your child develops symptoms immediately after receiving the MMR shot, however, she might be having an allergic reaction. Call your doctor or 911 immediately if she has any of these signs: a rash, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, or extreme weakness. These could indicate anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition. This type of reaction is exceedingly rare, but if it happens you need to get your child to the doctor or hospital immediately.
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