Measles vs Chickenpox: Difference and Comparison

Infectious diseases are a common thing among people, and out of them, to take the crown. These two are Measles and Chickenpox.

Key Takeaways

  1. The measles virus causes measles, whereas chickenpox results from the varicella-zoster virus.
  2. Measles presents a high fever, cough, and red blotchy rash, while chickenpox causes an itchy, blister-like rash.
  3. Chickenpox causes milder symptoms in children than in adults, while measles can lead to severe complications regardless of age.

Measles vs Chickenpox

Measles is a viral infection that affects children caused by paramyxovirus. It is highly contagious as it spreads through the air by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include rashes, fever, sore throat and runny nose. It lasts up to 3 weeks. Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella virus. It causes an itchy blister on the skin, with fever, fatigue and rashes. It lasts for up to 7 days.

Measles vs

Measles shows its first symptom as a rash on the hairline or forehead, which is followed by its appearance in other parts of the body.

Chickenpox spreads through inhalation of the respiratory drops that come out when a sick person suffering from it coughs or sneezes.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Measles Chickenpox 
Caused by Measles is caused by the paramyxovirus. Chickenpox is caused by the varicella virus.
IncubationThe duration of incubation for measles is 2 weeks. The duration of incubation for chickenpox is 5-6 days. 
Symptoms Rashes on the forehead, fever, cough, and sore throat. Fever, headache, tiredness with rashes on chest and face. 
Diagnostic Signs Koplik’s spot is the diagnostic sign of measles. Vesiculopapular lesions are the diagnostic sign of chickenpox. 
Transmission Transmission occurs through sneezing, coughing. Crusting of lesions of the person who is already suffering. 

What is Measles?

Measles is considered one of the highly infectious viruses or commonly known as a viral infection, that affects the respiratory system of the human body.

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The Measles virus or the Paramyxovirus affects and infects the respiratory tract first in the body. Then, it gradually spreads to different parts of the body, like hands, forehead, chest, etc., through the blood in the body.

People suffering from measles can go on to spread the virus to others. They spread to approximately 9 to 18 people.


What is Chickenpox? 

Chickenpox is another highly contagious virus that is caused by the varicella virus. The symptoms of chickenpox are itchy parts of the body blister-like rash that can crust.

Even though it is a curable infectious disease, chickenpox can be dangerous. They tend to get serious, especially in babies and pregnant women.

It takes about 10 to 20 days for a person to develop chickenpox after they have had exposure to a person suffering from chickenpox. There is also a high chance that a vaccinated person can catch the disease and spread it to others.

Main Differences Between Measles and Chickenpox

  1. A person will suffer from chickenpox for 5 and 7 days, whereas measles infection can last over a timeframe of two to three weeks.
  2. Chickenpox is considered a mild infection yet can cause severe complications in certain risk groups. On the other hand, complications of measles sometimes include ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.
Difference Between Measles and

Last Updated : 20 August, 2023

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12 thoughts on “Measles vs Chickenpox: Difference and Comparison”

  1. It’s important for parents to be well informed about the differences between measles and chickenpox, and how they are transmitted to ensure their children’s health.

  2. It’s a bit concerning to think about how easily these diseases can be transmitted and their potential impact on public health.


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