Measles | Rubeola
Measles | Rubeola is a contagious viral infection usually occurs in childhood. It is a disease of respiratory system. In earlier times ,it was a very common cause of mortality in infants, but now it can be prevented with the help of vaccine.
Measles symptoms generally appear first within 10-12 days of exposure to the virus. The symptoms are –
• Sore throat
• Dry cough
• Inflammed eyes (conjunctivitis)
• A skin rash made up of large ,flat blotches that often flow into one another
• Tiny white spots with bluish white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek – called koplik’s spots.
Sequence of stages –
Measles infection occurs in a sequence of stages during a period of 2-3 weeks.
• Infection & incubation –
For the first 10-14 days of infection ,the measles virus incubates. No sign and symptoms appear at that time.
• Nonspecific signs & symptoms –
Measles typically begins with a mild to moderate fever, a persistent cough, runny nose, inflammed eyes and sore throat. This mild illness may lasts for 2-3 days.
• Acute illness & rashes –
The rash consist of small red spots, some of which are slightly raised. Spots and bumps appear in tight clusters. The face breaks out first for rashes. Over the next few days,the rash spreads down the arms and trunk,then over the thighs ,lower legs and feet. At same time, fever rises ,often as high as 104 to 105.8 °F.
The measles rash gradually recedes fading first from the face and lasts from the thighs and feet.
• Communicable Period –
A person with measles can spread the virus to other’s for about eight days , starting 4 days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days .
Causes & mode of spreading –
It is caused by infection with a virus from the paramyxovirus family. Viruses are tiny parasitic microbes.
The measles virus infects the respiratory tract first , eventually it spreads to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.
It is highly contagious. It can be spread through the air from respiratory droplets and aerosol particles. An infected person can release the virus into the air when they cough and sneeze. You can become infected if you come into contact with a contaminated object,such as door handle and then touch your face ,nose or mouth. The virus can remain infectious in the air or on surfaces for upto 2 hrs.
The best way to save your child from this infection is MMR vaccination shot. It is given in two doses –
• First dose is given between 12-15 monthsof age.
• Second dose is needed to be given on school going age of kids from 4-6 years of age.
Vaccination saves your child from Mumps and Rubella also along with Measles.
Doctors can confirm measles | rubeola by examining your skin rash and checking for symptoms that are characteristic of the disease, such as white spots in the mouth, fever, cough and sore throat.
There’s no specific treatment for measles. The virus and symptoms typically disappear in about 2-3 weeks. Some measures can be taken to protect individuals who have been exposed to the virus.
• Post exposure vaccination –
Non- immunised people , including infants ,may be given the measles vaccination within 72 hrs of exposure to the measles virus to provide protection against the disease. If measles still develops, the illness usually has milder symptoms and lasts for a shorter time.
• Immune serum globulin –
Pregnant women, infants and people with weakened immune system who are exposed to the virus may receive an injection of protein called immune serum globulin. When given within 6 days of exposure to the virus, these antibodies can prevent measles or make symptoms less severe.
• Fever Reducers –
Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen , ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can be given to help relieving fever.
Aspirin is not recommended for children or teenagers who have measles symptoms.
• Antibiotics –
If a bacterial infection such as pneumonia or an ear infection ,develops while you or your child has measles, you can have antibiotics for that.
• Vitamin A –
Giving vitamin A may lessen the severity of the measles. It is generally given as a large dose of 2,00,000 IU for children older than a year.
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Rest may help to boost your immune system.
• A humidifier may help to ease a cough or sorethroat.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
Measles | Rubeola is known as romantika in Ayurveda. Measles occurs due to vitiation of the kapha and pitta doshas of the body.
Beneficial Herbs –
• Neem –
It’s leaves are full of Antiviral properties and they can prevent further infection and also reduces infection from spreading to other members of the house.
• Sandalwood –
It has antiviral properties and it gives great relief when applied on itchy rashes and it keeps the skin protected.
• Khus (Indian Grass) –
It acts as antipyretic that reduces fever.
• Ginger –
It has anti inflammatory agents in it which helps to reduce the onset of fever.
• Lemon –
It is a good source of vitamin C and helps in clearing the skin rashes.
• Saffron –
It has soothing properties when applied directly to the measles rashes.
• Clove –
Clove oil is often used as painkiller if the measles rashes turns painful.
Effective Medications –
• Swarnmakshik bhasm
• Prawal pisti
• Kasturibhairav ras
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