Measles | Symptoms and Treatment
Measles | Symptoms and Treatment
Measles is a contagious viral disease that usually affects children, and the infected person can transmit the virus in the incubation period (before symptoms appear). Measles can be diagnosed by the characteristic rash and the appearance of white spots inside the mouth on the lining of the cheek.
To date, there is no treatment that can get rid of measles infection after infection and the best way to prevent measles is to receive the triple viral vaccine.
What causes Measles?
Measles is a highly contagious disease, which means it can pass very easily to others. Measles is caused by a virus in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult.
When a person with measles coughs, sneezes or talks, droplets carrying the disease spread into the air, where they can be inhaled by others. Infectious droplets can remain in the air for about an hour.
Infectious droplets may also land on a surface, remain active, and spread for several hours. You can then catch the measles virus by sticking your fingers in your mouth or nose or rubbing your eyes after touching an infected surface.
Measles infection is most likely from about four days before the rash appears to four days after it appears. About 90% of people who have not had measles or who have not been vaccinated against it will become infected when they come into contact with someone infected with the measles virus.
Measles risk factors:
- Not getting vaccinated. If you haven't had the measles vaccine, you're more likely to get it.
- Travelling abroad. If you travel to countries where measles is common, you will be at increased risk of contracting it.
- Vitamin A deficiency. If your diet does not contain enough vitamin A, you will have more severe symptoms and complications of measles.
- Diarrhea and vomiting. Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to a loss of too much water from the body (dehydration).
- ear infection Bacterial ear infection is one of the most common complications of measles.
- Bronchitis, laryngitis or croup. Measles can lead to inflammation of the airways of the lungs and swelling in them. It can also lead to inflammation of the inner walls lining the main airways of the lungs (bronchitis). Measles can also cause laryngitis.
- Pneumonia. Measles can cause an infection of the lungs (pneumonia). People with weakened immune systems may develop a serious form of pneumonia that can sometimes lead to death.
- Brain inflammation. About 1 in 1,000 people with measles will develop a complication known as encephalitis. The occurrence of inflammation and swelling in the tissues and cells of the brain. This condition can be serious, especially in people with weakened immune systems. Encephalitis may occur immediately after measles infection, or it may not occur until months after infection. Encephalitis can cause permanent brain damage.
- Pregnancy problems. If you're pregnant, you'll need to take special care to avoid measles, because the disease can cause premature birth, low birth weight and stillbirth.
The symptoms of measles may take about two weeks to appear on the patient after exposure to the virus that causes it. Symptoms include:
- Dry cough.
- Runny nose.
- Sore throat.
- Inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis).
- Small white spots with bluish-white foci on a red background inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek, also called Koplik's spots.
- A rash consisting of large, flat spots, often joined together.
- Infection and incubation. Between 10 and 14 days after the onset of infection, the measles virus spreads throughout the body. And no signs of disease or symptoms of measles appear during this period.
- Non-specific signs and symptoms. Measles usually begins with a mild to moderate fever, often accompanied by a persistent cough, runny nose, inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) and sore throat. These symptoms may last for two or three days.
- Severe malaise and rash. And the shape of this rash is small red spots that are slightly raised above the skin level. The spots and bumps gathered in compact clusters give the skin its mottled red appearance. The rash appears on the skin first.
- Over the next few days, the rash spreads down the arms, chest, and back, then over the thighs and lower legs and feet. At this time, the fever increases sharply, often between 104 and 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit (40 to 41 degrees Celsius).
- Recovery from measles: The measles rash remains for about seven days. The rash gradually fades, first on the face and ending on the thighs and feet. When other symptoms of fatigue have subsided, the cough and darkening or peeling skin at the site of the rash may last for about 10 days.
There is no specific medicine that treats measles, but its symptoms can be alleviated by taking some measures, including:
- Post-infection vaccine: The vaccine can be taken within 72 hours of exposure to the measles virus for those who have not previously been vaccinated.
- Immunoglobulin serum: It is an injection of proteins (antibodies) given within six days of exposure to the virus.
- Increase fluid intake to avoid dehydration.
- Reduce the lighting of the place and close the curtains to reduce the sensitivity of the eyes to light.