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MMR rash: my child got a rash after getting the vaccine. Could she have measles?

The rash you are seeing is probably a reaction to the live but weak strain of measles that makes up a part of the MMR or measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. This occurs in about 5 percent of children who have the vaccine, and while it is a form of measles, it will not develop into the full-blown disease.

Usually, the reaction will occur within about 10 days of having the vaccination, but they can appear any time up to around 28 days later.

The spots or rash that your child gets will be similar to measles. It will start as a rash of small red dots on the chest and neck, and they may spread to other parts of the body. They will typically disappear after a few days, although your child may have a mild fever while they are there.

If the spots are very bright red, or the spots don’t blanch when they are gently pressed, you should definitely call your doctor, as they may be a sign of another disease. Likewise, if your child develops a reaction immediately after the vaccine, then he or she may be having an allergic reaction, and will require emergency medical treatment. Symptoms of an allergic reaction like this could include a rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the lips, as well as extreme lethargy or weakness.

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