All You Need To Know About Measles
Measles disease is a contagious viral infection. It is otherwise also known as rubeola, and it is a type of airborne disease. Measles is an infection that begins in the respiratory system. If a person who is not vaccinated is in contact with an infected person, there is a significant chance that they will be infected too.
A person infected with measles is contagious four days before the rashes appear and remain infected up to 4 days after the rash disappears. Since it spreads very easily, it can become serious and even cause death in children.
Keep reading to learn more about measles disease
What Are The Symptoms Of Measles?
The signs and symptoms of measles become prominent around 10 -14 days after the patient has been exposed to the virus. The common signs and symptoms that indicate measles include:
- A high Fever
- A dry cough
- Redness in the eyes
- Running nose
- Sore throat
- Tiny white spots or bumps in the mouth
- Light sensitivity
- A red-colored rash that begins on the head and then gradually spreads to other parts of the body
What Are The Causes Of Measles?
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that is caused by the morbillivirus. It is so contagious that a person who is not vaccinated in the same room with the infected person will also contract the infection. There are a few ways through which measles spreads. These include:
- Coming in contact with the contaminated droplets released by the infected person in the air while talking, sneezing, or coughing.
- Hugging, kissing or holding hands with someone who is infected with measles.
- Sharing food and drinks or sitting with someone who has measles.
- Spread from a pregnant mother to the child during pregnancy, birth, or while nursing.
- Touching objects that are contaminated, like door handles and tables, and then using the same hand to touch the face, mouth, or nose.
The contaminated droplets released by the infected person remain in the air even after the person leaves.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Measles?
The people who are at risk of developing measles include:
- A person who has not been vaccinated
- A person who is traveling to a country where measles occurs commonly
- People who are Vitamin A deficient
- People who live in a locality where many people are not vaccinated
Diagnosis Of Measles
To diagnose measles, the doctor will do a thorough examination of the rash and the white spots or bumps (kolpik spots) that developed in the mouth. The doctor may also ask the patient to get laboratory tests done by taking samples of the patient’s blood, nasal and throat secretions, and urine.
Treatment For Measles
There is no way to treat measles since it is a viral infection. However, there are certain things that can be done at home to ease the symptoms and improve recovery. This includes:
- Taking NSAIDs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to relieve pain and fever.
- Consuming plenty of liquids and staying hydrated.
- Taking a lot of rest.
- Adding a humidifier in the room to help with breathing, cough, and sore throat
- Taking Vitamin A supplements
Another treatment approach that can help in preventing or easing the severity of the infection includes the following:
- A measles vaccination after 72 hours of being exposed to the virus
- Taking a dose of immunoglobulin, which is an immune protein, within six days of exposure to the virus.
Measles is a contagious viral infection that can infect anyone. The best thing to avoid contracting this infection is to practice preventive measures. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent getting infected by measles.
Apart from vaccination, practicing good hygiene by washing hands, face, nose, and mouth frequently, sanitizing the personal items of the infected person, avoiding contact with the infected person or avoiding contact with people if you are infected by maintaining isolation, covering your mouth and nose if you are infected while sneezing or coughing, etc. are some preventive measures that can reduce the chances of the infection spreading and infecting others.