Difference Between Chickenpox and Measles


Especially if you’re a new parent, trying to decipher whether your child has measles or the chickenpox can be difficult. Both problems show basic similarities, but the two things are caused by different viruses, and the symptom patterns that they have are quite different.

In both cases, a child with measles or the chickenpox will have a rash, but what the rash looks like will be different in both cases. As well, a child that has come down with the measles will be sicker overall than one with just the chickenpox. In most cases the measles cause a child to come down with a fever that is higher than if they have chickenpox, so that’s one of the first things to check for if you’re trying to differentiate between the two.

One of the biggest things when it comes to preventing measles is to be vaccinated early on. If a child has been vaccinated for the measles, it should be easy to determine what they’re suffering from is chickenpox. However, if the child has not been vaccinated, measles has to be considered if the rash and fever show up.

Measles symptoms usually develop within one or two weeks after the person has come in contact with someone who has it. Chickenpox, on the other hand, isn’t likely to appear until ten days to as long as three weeks after initial contact.

In both cases, the person will develop a fever, a runny nose and cough within the first few days of it taking hold. With the measles, those symptoms are usually accompanied by a sore throat and a collection of white spots inside the cheeks. Chickenpox suffers tend to have a headache or stomach problems instead.

Another way to tell the difference between measles and the chickenpox is to look at how long the symptoms seem to be persisting. Within a few days of first showing signs of chickenpox, those suffering will start to feel markedly better, and their symptoms should begin to ease dramatically. While they might still feel irritated or have some stomach unrest, the viral symptoms should clear up and leave them feeling better. If someone has the measles, they will be sicker for longer, and the fever, tiredness and overall aches and pains will linger.

In most instances, the majority of symptoms should clear for both within ten days, but people with the measles will feel much sicker for much more of that time. It’s important to get a handle on which disease is being suffered from as the medications and treatment plans are not the same and each requires the proper care in order for the patient to feel optimally healthy again within the standard time frame.