Measles, also known as rubeola, is a respiratory infection that is caused by the rubeola virus. The measles virus has the ability to settle down on surfaces for many hours meaning that any individual in close proximity with those surfaces can possibly be infected.
The infected particles filter into the air when an infected person when they sneeze or a cough before settling on surfaces.
You are susceptible to measles infection when you share eating utensils with an infected person or drink from the glass of an infected person.
This viral disease is widely regarded as the leading cause of deaths in kids with those under the age of 5 mostly affected as per the recent report on the respiratory system infection from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A virus that replicates in the throat and nose of an infected adult or kid could be traced to the causes of measles in children. It is important to point out that this disease is highly contagious with individuals vulnerable to the condition when they come in contact with an infected person.
The infection goes through several stages within a period of two to three weeks:
- Infection and Incubation Stage – The virus incubates for around 10 to 14 days after you have been infected. At this stage, there is no signs and symptoms of measles.
- Non-Specific Signs And Symptoms – This condition normally starts with a mild to a moderate fever that is accompanied by inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis), persistent cough, sore throat, and runny nose. This stage may last for two to three days.
- Acute Illness And Rash Stage – The rash is made up of little red spots with some slightly raised. Bumps and spots in close clusters offer the skin a red appearance that is of irregular order. The rash appears on the face first, most especially along the hairline and behind the ears before spreading down the arms and trunk, then over the lower legs, feet, and thighs over the next few days.
While the rash is spreading all over the body, fever temperature reaches an all time high of 40 to 41 C (104 to 105.8 F). The measles virus slowly fades from the face at first and lastly from the thighs and feet.
- Contagious Period – An individual with measles virus can spread it to others for around eight days (the period starts four days before the rash appears and ends when the rash has been present for four days).
The Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of measles in kids appear after around two weeks (14 days) of exposure. Symptoms of measles in toddlers include:
- Runny Nose
- Light Sensitivity
- White Spots Inside The Mouth
- Red Eyes
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Aches
An evident sign of measles in children is a widespread skin rash. Affected kids usually recover from the measles virus without any problem however it can lead to other problems like an eye infection, diarrhea, swollen throat (laryngitis), vomiting, ear infection, and febrile convulsion.
Diagnosis of measles can be confirmed by your doctor via medical observation. He or she should examine your skin rash and check for symptoms that are synonymous with the disease like a cough, spots in the mouth, sore throat, and fever.
If your doctor is unable to confirm the virus after observation, a blood test should be done to check for the measles virus for them.
There is no specific prescription medication as far as treatment for measles in children is concerned because symptoms and virus normally disappear in two to three weeks.
However, your doctor could recommend the following the following:
- humidifier to ease a cough and sore throat
- acetaminophen to alleviate muscle aches and fever
- plenty of fluids (6 to 8 glasses of water a day)
- vitamin A supplements
- rest to assist you in boosting your immune system