Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS
Measles
Overview
Symptoms
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common Name/Other Name:

English measles; Rubeola; Morbilli (Eng.); Tigdas (Tag.)

Measles is a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a paramyxovirus occurring primarily in children. It is an airborne disease which spreads through respiration or contact with fluids from the infected person. The virus infects the mucous membranes then spreads throughout the body. Patients are considered to be contagious from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears.

Symptoms
  • High fever which begins about 8 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts 4 to 7 days
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Conjunctivitis (red and watery eyes)
  • Sore throat
  • Malaise
  • Koplik's spots (small pin-head size grayish-white spots) inside the mouth or throat may develop in initial stage
  • Blotchy rash erupts on face and upper neck after 3 to 5 days upon exposure to the virus and eventually spreads throughout the body
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs

There is no specific antiviral treatment for measles. However, some medications can be taken to protect patients who have been exposed to the virus.

  • Post-exposure vaccination. Non-immunized infected individuals may be given measles vaccination within 72 hours of exposure to the measles virus to have protection against the disease. There will be milder symptoms if the measles still develops.
  • Immune serum globulin is injected to pregnant women, newborns or persons with weak immune system who are exposed to the virus. These antibodies can prevent measles or lessen the severity of symptoms when given within six days upon exposure to the virus.
  • Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. It is prescribed to reduce fever, aches and pain.
  • Local skin moisturizers are prescribed in case of itchiness.
  • Vitamin A supplements restore low levels of vitamin A during measles and can help prevent eye damage and blindness
  • Antibiotics should be prescribed to treat eye and ear infections, and pneumonia arising from complication of measles.
Treatment and Management

Prevention

  • Vaccination. Measles can be prevented with measles-containing vaccine, which is primarily administered as the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The combination measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine can be used for children aged 12 months through 12 years for protection against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.
Home Remedies

Home Remedies

  • Rest to help boost the immune system.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water.
  • Secretions and dried off crusts around the eyes can be eased by using damp sterile cotton wool. It should be used to wipe each eye.
  • Use humidifier to relieve cough and sore throat.

Lifestyle modifications

  • Isolation and maintenance of hygiene
  • Ensure good nutrition
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