Several viral diseases exhibit measles-like symptoms. Differentiation of suspected cases of measles with molecular epidemiological techniques in the laboratory is useful for measles surveillance. In this study, a random PCR screening system was undertaken for the identification of isolates from patients with measles-like symptoms who exhibited cytopathic effects, but who had negative results for measles virus-specific reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and indirect immunofluorescence assays. Sequence analysis of random amplified PCR products showed that they were highly homologous to type 1 human herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). The results were further confirmed by an HSV-1-specific TaqMan real-time PCR assay. The random PCR screening system described in this study provides an efficient procedure for the identification of unknown viral pathogens. Measles-like symptoms can also be caused by HSV-1, suggesting the need to include HSV-1 in differential diagnoses of measles-like diseases.