Differential Diagnosis: Case Study

Differential diagnosis


Measles is a viral infection, highly infectious acute respiratory illness. The symptoms of the disease include fever, which is often greater than 104 F, inflamed eyes, running nose and cough.  Small white sport may form in the mouth, three days following the initial signs and symptoms. The flesh red rash originates on the face and spread throughout the body (Fiebelkorn et al., 2015). The virus is spread through direct or indirect contact with the infected person.  A complication associated with the disease include pneumonia, brain inflammation, blindness and diarrhea among others.  It is one of the most infectious airborne diseases and is spread through sneezes and coughs from people who are infected. The contact with nasal secretion or saliva from infected person may also spread the disease. People who share space with those who are infected and are not immune will catch the disease. People do not catch the disease more than once because of the development of memory B-cells after the initial infection that enables quick and rapid clearance of the virus following subsequent exposure. The incubation period of measles normally ranges from 7 to 21 day. The fact that Keisha is having a red conjunctiva as well as the fever and cough, there may be a probability that she has contracted measles.


Rubella is also known German measles. It is one of the most infectious viral disease caused by the rubella virus. It is a mild disease, however, and people may contract the disease without realizing they have the infection. The rash normally starts two weeks following the exposure.  The rush normally originates from the face and spread to other parts of the body. The difference between the rashes caused by the rubella virus from that caused by the measles virus is that the former is not bright and is normally itchy compared to the later(Nguyen & O Brien, 2016).  The lymph may swell for individual who have contracted the disease and may last for a few weeks.  The symptoms of the disease include fatigue, fever, and sore throat. For adults who have contracted the disease, joint pains are very common. The virus is normally spread through a cough and sneeze because it is airborne from individuals who are infected. Keisha may have contracted rubella virus because of the fever and rash in her face. Proper diagnosis, therefore, needs to be carried out to determine the actual cause of the disease.

Atopic dermatitis

It is also called atopic eczema. It is an inflammation of the skin. The signs and symptoms associated with the disease include the cracked, swollen and red skin. In most cases, clear fluid may come from the areas of infection(Trzeciak et al., 2017). People with the disease may develop asthma or fever. Based on the signs and symptoms presented by Keisha, there is less probability that she may be suffering from atopic dermatitis.

The complication associated with measles infections

The most common complication in adults and children with measles include diarrhea and the infection of the ear(Ovsyannikova et al., 2017).  One in every ten children infected with measles virus the infection of the ear but this doesn’t lead to permanent ear loss. Additionally, one in every ten children with measles normally diarrhea. Other severe complications associated with measles include pneumonia as well as the swelling of the brain (encephalitis).



Complication associated with rubella virus infection

Arthritis is the most common complication in over 70% of the women with rubella virus infection. Arthritis, however, is rare men and children with the disease. Unvaccinated pregnant women with rubella disease may experience a miscarriage(“Rubella | Complications | CDC,” 2016). The baby may die the following birth. Other complications associated with the disease include the damage of the spleen or liver, intellectual disability, loss of eyesight and hearing as well as the complication of the heart.














Fiebelkorn, A. P., Redd, S. B., Gastañaduy, P. A., Clemmons, N., Rota, P. A., Rota, J. S., … Wallace, G. S. (2015). A Comparison of Postelimination Measles Epidemiology in the United States, 2009–2014 Versus 2001–2008. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, piv080. doi:10.1093/jpids/piv080

Nguyen, K. K., & O Brien, B. E. (2016). Zika Virus: The New Rubella Epidemic. Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology7(4). doi:10.4172/2155-9562.1000390

Ovsyannikova, I. G., Schaid, D. J., Larrabee, B. R., Haralambieva, I. H., Kennedy, R. B., & Poland, G. A. (2017). A large population-based association study between HLA and KIR genotypes and measles vaccine antibody responses. PLOS ONE12(2), e0171261. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171261

Rubella | Complications | CDC. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/rubella/about/complications.html

Trzeciak, M., Sakowicz-Burkiewicz, M., Wesserling, M., Dobaczewska, D., Gleń, J., Nowicki, R., & Pawelczyk, T. (2017). Expression of Cornified Envelope Proteins in Skin and Its Relationship with Atopic Dermatitis Phenotype. Acta Dermato Venereologica97(1), 36-41. doi:10.2340/00015555-2482