Measles or rubeola is a highly infectious ailment from the rubeola virus. This is an endemic disease that is continuously present in a community and many have developed resistance. Nevertheless, if the condition arises in an area where people were not yet exposed, the outcome can be overwhelming.
Indications of measles
Measles is characterized by fever and at least one of the following:
- Coryza (runny nose)
The symptoms typically manifest around 9-11 days after the initial infection. The other symptoms might include the following:
- Dry hacking cough
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Fever that can range from mild to severe
- Koplik’s spots are small-sized, grayish-white spots that have bluish-white centers in the mouth, throat and inside the cheeks
- Generalized body aches
- Rash that are reddish-brown spots that arises 3-4 weeks after the initial symptoms
How measles develops
Once the virus moves into the body, it reproduces in the rear part of the throat, lymphatic system and the lungs. It eventually infects and reproduces in the eyes, urinary tract, blood vessels as well as the central nervous system.
It usually takes 1-3 weeks so that the virus can fully establish itself. Nevertheless, some develop symptoms 9-11 days after developing the infection.
An individual who have measles before will not become infected again. On the other hand, those who have not been infected or vaccinated can become sick if exposed to infected droplets.
Remember that there is no specific treatment for measles. In case there are no complications, the doctor will recommend adequate rest and measures to control the fever and prevent dehydration. Take note that the symptoms typically settle within 7-10 days.
If a child develops measles, the following measures can be done:
- If fever is present, keep the child cool and provide medications such as ibuprofen.
- Make sure that the child is not exposed to those who smoke.
- Keep the lights dim or the room darkened.
- If crustiness forms on the area surrounding the eyes, carefully clean the area using a warm, moist cloth.
- For the cough, a humidifier should be used in the room of the child.
- Keep the child properly hydrated by providing more fluids to drink.