If You Or Your Child Has Measles

People often take a cavalier attitude toward illnesses that are categorized as "childhood diseases and adults are often teased when they contract such an illness. and every year from measles. And sadly, this does not have to happen, as measles is a preventable disease.

The first symptoms of measles are fatigue, a fever, a dry cough and a burning sensation in the eyes. The eyes are also red, and feel itchy. Light brothers them. Fine white spots on a red base appear inside the mouth just opposite the molar teeth. The medical profession identifies the spots as Koplik's spots. These symptoms appear about 4 to five days before the rash.

The rash begins on the fifth day as pink. Blotchy, flat spots which later on become darker and larger red patches. You will first notice the rash on the face, neck, and behind the ears however it will spread to the chest, stomach and finally the arms and legs. The rash, which lasts from four to seven days, is accommodated by mild itching.

Measles is very contagious. It is spread through coming in contact with articles that are contaminated by secretions from the mouth and nose. It can be spread during the period three to four days before the rash appears up to several days after. Symptoms will start to appear about eight to twelve days after a person has been exposed to the virus. An infected person needs to be isolated. Anyone who has to come in contact with that person and who has never had measles should be vaccinated. However, immunization is not necessary for a person who has had measles as they have immunity to the disease.

Doctors will typically suggest over-the-counter pain, fever, and cough medicines. They should rest in a dimly lit room due to eye sensitivity to light.

There are some important precautions to observe. If the patient is a child or teenager, do not use aspirin for a pain reliever because of the possibility of Reye syndrome although this is rare.

Measles can have several complications, some of which are life threatening. One very serious one is measles encephalitis in which there is infection of the brain. This is rare but if it happens, then life-support measures and treatment of seizures may be necessary. Other complications are sore throats, pneumonia, and ear infections.

Signs to watch for are earache, sore throat, difficult or rapid breathing, bleeding from body orifices or into the skin, headache, vomiting, excessive lethargy or convulsions. If any of these occur, you should call a doctor immediately.

Of course, the best procedure is prevention by immunization.