Measles is a viral infection that usually occurs in children. Also known as rubeola, the infection claimed lives of more than 140 000 people in the year 2018, says the World Health Organisation. This highly contagious disease is characterized by signs like fever, sore throat, inflamed eyes, dry cough, etc. These symptoms reflect only after 10 to 14 days of being exposed to the virus. It replicates in the nose and throat. The virus can spread from an infected child through the tiny droplets released during sneezing, coughing, or talking.
Certain factors including travelling to countries with a high prevalence of measles, being unvaccinated, and having a deficiency of vitamin A increase your likelihood of getting infected by measles. As far as the vaccination of the condition is concerned, its first dose is given to infants between 12 and 15 months. Whereas the second dose is given between 4 and 6 years.
Measles is diagnosed by looking at the visible symptoms. In certain cases, a doctor may perform a blood test to confirm the disease. There is no specific treatment option for measles. To protect individuals who are vulnerable to the disease, post-exposure vaccination or/and an injection of antibodies called immune serum globulin can be given.
Basically, fever reducer medicines, antibiotics, and vitamin A supplements are prescribed to protect children affected by measles. Notably, an infected child should not be given aspirin, the most commonly consumed over the counter medicine. This is because it has been associated with Reye’s syndrome, which is rare but can claim the life of your child.
If not treated on time, measles infection can cause a bacterial ear infection, inflammation of the larynx or bronchial tube, and pneumonia. It can also lead to encephalitis, inflammation in the brain.