The first sign of measles is usually a high fever with a rash, cough, running nose, and conjunctivitis . The rash starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Koplik spots (white spots) in the mouth can also be an indication of measles but these are relatively hard to identify, especially when health care workers have not seen many cases of measles. 

People with a weak immune system due to HIV, cancer or other diseases often do not develop a rash.

Measles can lead to complications like pneumonia (infection of the lungs), blindness, diarrhoea, dehydration, brain infection (encephalitis) or death.