Measles: Symptoms and Causes
Dr. Asmita Dhekne Chebbi
Btm 1st stage, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Also known as rubella or morbilli, measles is a viral infection of the respiratory system.
Measles is a result of an infection with the rubeola virus, which lives in the mucous of the nose and throat of an infected child or adult. This is highly contagious and can spread through physical contact, coughing, sneezing, etc.
The common sign and symptoms of measles include:
- Red or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Sensitivity to light
- Body aches
- Reddish-Brownish rash
- Small greyish white spots in the mouth, cheeks and throat
Measles is easily diagnosable by just looking at the symptoms. A blood test is needed to confirm the presence of rubeola virus.
There is no specific treatment or prescription medicine to treat measles. The virus and symptoms generally disappear in 7 to 10 days. Doctors will recommend the following for recovery:
- Medications for the fever and cough.
- Plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Enough rest to boost the immune system.
- Sunglasses and keeping the lights dim or the rooms darkened as measles causes increased sensitivity to light.
- Avoid smoking near the child.
- Eye drops to treat eye irritation.
- Staying away from school to prevent spreading the virus.
- Vitamin A supplements for those who have a deficiency in Vitamin A.
Some common but serious complications of measles include:
- Ear infection
- Respiratory tract infections such as, Bronchitis
- Low Blood Platelets
- Difficulty breathing
MEASLES & PREGNANCY
Measles during pregnancy can lead to certain complications such as low birth weight, pre-term labour and miscarriage. If you are a woman of child bearing age or planning to have a child, it is important to get a measles vaccination.
Getting a measles vaccine will help prevent the disease. People who have already got measles once are normally immune and are unlikely to get it again.