Measles is a highly contagious infection caused by a virus. It is an infectious viral diseases causing fever and a red rash commonly occurring in children.
It is an airborne disease which spreads through the coughs and sneezes of those infected. It also be spread through contact with nasal secretions and saliva.
Signs and Symptoms:
Usually symptoms develops 10-12 days after exposure to an infected person and it lasts for 7-10 days. Symptoms may include the following:
- Fever (often more than 104 degree Fahrenheit)
- Koplik’s Spot (2-3 days after develop of symptoms, small white spot seen inside the mouth)
- Skin rash (3 -5 days after exposure to on infected person, red flat rash appear on the face and then spreads to the whole body)
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Muscle aches
How do you get Measles:
Children and adult with weak immunity are more vulnerable to get the infections. As Measles is an airborne viral diseases, it is spread by coughing, sneezing through saliva and nasal secretions from close or direct contact of the infected person.
Prevention of Measles:
Immunization can help to prevent measles. According to the EPI schedule, 2 doses of the Measles vaccine is given. This is given as part of the MMR vaccine (Measles,Mumps and Rubella) The first dose is given on completion of 9 months and then 15 montsh of age. There should be at least 28 days gap in between the two doses. Adolescents and adults who have not had measles or have not been vaccinated should get 2 doses, separated by at least 28 days. Two doses of MMR (measles, mumps & rubella) vaccine is nearly 100% effective at preventing measles.
There is no specific treatment for measles. Treatment is based on symptoms. At first the suspected patient needs to go to the doctor for diagnosis. The fever caused by measles usually gets cured by three days treatment and is fully cured by seven days. No one should take any medicine without doctor’s consultation and to avoid complications the doctor’s instruction should be maintained from the beginning. The measles patient should take a shower every day, sponging the body a few times in a day, take plenty of water & liquids and take proper rest. Most people with uncomplicated measles will recover with rest and supportive treatment.
People, especially infants and children under 5 years of age, adults aged more than 20 years, pregnant women and immunocompromised peoples are at high risk for complications. Complications with measles are relatively common. It can lead to life threatening complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (Inflammation of brain). Complications include:
- Diarrhoea (severe)
- Otitis Media (Ear infection)
- Miscarriage/Preterm labor
- Blindness (Corneal ulceration)
- Decrease in blood platelets
It should be considered that measles is a complicated disease but can be prevented by vaccination and treatment at early stage before getting into complication.
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