Measles is a highly infectious virus disease of the respiratory system very common in childhood. It is so common at this stage of life that nearly all children everywhere in the world go through this brief period of red spots. The disease appears in epidemic form, often in the winter season. Mostly it is a mild infection which will clear up quickly but susceptible children with a lowered immune system may experience more unpleasant effects and, in very rare cases, it can lead to serious complications, including blindness and even death.
The first symptoms which appear during 7 to 14 days after exposure to the virus are feverishness, cold, watering of the eyes and dry cough. Rashes appear on the skin in three to five days after the onset of these symptoms.
These rashes, which consist of small rounded spots with reddened skin in between, initially appear on the sides of the face and the neck and then gradually spread all over the body, appearing last on the extremities. Initially pink in colour, these rashes grow darker as time passes. Measles is usually accompanied with slight fever and diarrhoea. In rare cases of great severity, high fever and delirium may occur.
Complications can arise from this disease including pneumonia, bronchitis and ear abscess. One serious but rare complication is the inflammation of the brain.
Measles, also known as rubeola or rubella (German measles), is one of the most contagious diseases, caused by a virus that is a member of the genus Morbilli of the Paramyxoviridae family of viruses. The measles virus is so infectious that in cities, children catch this disease before they reach the age of five years. Mothers generally pass their antibodies to their children which immunise them passively. This protection, however, does not last beyond six months.
Measles is easily transmitted in the early stages through the invisible droplets of moisture which are discharged from a patient’s nose or mouth when he coughs or sneezes.
Because of widespread immunization, the number of children who contract measles has declined dramatically. When cases of measles do occur, it is generally because, their immunity has diminished since they received the vaccine, or they have weakened immune systems.
In the beginning of the treatment, the patient should be given juices of fresh fruits like orange, tangerine and lemon frequently. This is sufficient as the child suffers from lack of appetite during this period. They should be kept in a well ventilated room. Pineapple juice can rehydrate the body during fever.
As light has a detrimental effect upon the eyes during measles, because of the weakened condition of the external eye tissues, the child should have their eyes shaded or the room should have subdued light.
The treatment should aim at bringing down the temperature and eliminating the toxins from the system. This can be achieved by the application of mud packs on the abdomen twice a day in the morning and evening and repeated application of chest packs.
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional. Nature Cures does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the outcome of using it.
© Copyright 2010 Nature Cures. All rights reserved.