Currently, the incidence of measles and rubella has decreased and the diseases have been eliminated in some countries with high vaccination coverages. Awareness of the clinical manifestations of the two diseases is essential, as there is always the possibility of new cases, which should be suspected on the basis of the medical history and physical examination. The diagnosis is based on clinical features and epidemiology, but should always be confirmed by determination of IgM or IgG.
The clinical manifestations of measles are quite uniform and those of rubella less so. However, in both diseases, four periods of evolution are recognized: incubation; prodromal, (catarrhal, enanthem or pre-exanthem); exanthem (rash) period; and, convalescent period (recovery or desquamation).
This work describes the clinical manifestations, presentation and complications of measles and rubella.