Measles is a respiratory infection that is caused by a virus called paramyxovirus. This disease is spread by respiration or contact with fluids from an infected person. This is through droplet transmission from the nose mouth, or throat by sneezing or coughing. Person infected with this disease is said to be highly contagious for four days. The virus stays airborne for up to 2 hours after the infected person has left the room. The immunity of the person infected with this disease is said to be lifetime. It is a rare condition in which an infected person will be infected twice by rubeola.
Rubeola or measles often attack children which are less than a year old or those who have not completed their vaccination. For pregnant women, acquiring this disease may cause stillbirth, miscarriage or preterm delivery. Typically, measles starts with red eyes, cough, runny nose and fever. After two to three days, red spots called koplik's spot appears within the mouth. Symptoms are usually evident after10-12 days after exposing itself to the virus. Rashes show between five to seven days after the initial symptoms. Rashes start at the hairline that gradually spreads to the body including the feet and the hands. There is fine flaking or desquamation on the skin when rashes start to fade on the infected body.
There are several complications that can be associated with measures. These are pneumonia, ear infections and diarrhea. It can also include encephalitis which can cause mental retardation, convulsion and death, persistent brain inflammation and blindness. Blindness is said to be due to measures and poor nutrition at the same time. Encephalitis as a complication to measles is said to be dangerous that may result to death. Encephalitis usually starts six days after rashes appears and includes fever, drowsiness, headache, seizures, and vomiting.
Clinical method is often used to diagnose measles. Appearance and history of the patients concludes the diagnosis of the patient. The appearance of koplik's spot often helps in diagnosing the said condition. Blood test is also recommended to confirm measles because it can be misdiagnosed as rubella, Kawasaki disease, roseola, mountain spotted fever, drug rash or dengue. It is important to ask help from medical practitioner for correct diagnosis.
Treatment For measles focuses on the relief of the symptoms it has. It is best to isolate the infected person to prevent spread of the disease. Bed rest is also recommended until fever is gone and patient should be hydrated. Sometimes vitamin A supplementation is also advised. The best way to prevent measles is through measles immunization. It is a vaccine that includes immunization for mumps, measles, rubella and varicella and is given to kid not older that 12 years of age.
There are also people who are not to receive measles vaccine. These are people who have allergic reaction to measles vaccines and its components, pregnant women, HIV patients and cancer patients. Re vaccination is also required to people who are vaccinated for the first time at the age of 1yr or less. People vaccinated with KMV should also be vaccinated again.
When there are sign and symptoms of measles, it is best to consult a doctor to properly diagnose the disease and to prevent it from spreading and affecting other people.