What is Measles?
Measles is a contagious infectious disease that is common especially in childhood. As it reduces body resistance, it can progress to pneumonia, middle ear inflammation and meningitis.
Therefore, vaccination against this disease, which is widespread all over the world and has serious risks, is of vital importance. After the widespread use of the vaccine, there has been a 95% reduction in the incidence of the disease.
Measles is in the group of rash diseases. Diseases such as measles are transmitted by viruses. These types of diseases show symptoms such as high fever and cough.These diseases that force the body resistance can weaken your child.
While there is no cure for disease, with proper care, the disease disappears spontaneously after a while. In these contagious diseases, there is a risk of contagion as long as there is rash. For this reason, vaccines should not be interrupted in infancy and childhood. You should pay attention to the possibility of contamination and hygiene against infections.
About the Measles Virus
One of the world’s leading infectious viruses is disease. Measles can cause many children to get sick at the same time. Measles causes other diseases such as pneumonia, otitis media, inflammation of the brain.
Measles is seen especially in the winter and spring months. The disease increases the risk of transmission since it is during the school year. Therefore, the disease vaccine given during the school period is very important for the immunity of the body.
How Is Measles Transmitted?
Measles is a disease caused by the morbilli virus from the paramyxovirus group. Although it is mostly seen in childhood, it can also be experienced in adulthood. Measles, a contagious epidemic disease, can be transmitted quickly by direct contact or by breathing. These viruses can stay in the room air for more than an hour and can be transmitted by breathing this air.
Patients can infect others with the disease 4 days before the rash starts and 4 days after it starts. The most intense period of contagion is the period when the first symptoms such as fever and cough appear. Symptoms of measles appear 8-12 days after contact with a person with measles. Rashes appear after 14 days. Passing measles once provides lifelong immunity to the disease.
Measles first starts like a cold or flu. Then the child has the following symptoms:
- Intermittent and persistent cough
- Runny nose
- Redness in the eyes,
- Inability to look at the light
- Non-runny conjunctivitis (itchy eyes, redness and tearing)
Rashes occur on the face and hairline 2-3 days after the symptoms of measles. It spreads to limbs and body within 3 days. Rashes on the face and neck may combine.
The skin becomes edematous and your face swells. Rashes can sometimes be seen on the palms and soles of your feet. The severity of the disease is generally proportional to the extent of the rash.
After the third day, your rashes will turn brown and disappear. Change again moves from head to toe. Your skin will now begin to flake off.
As the rashes, your fever reaches its highest level. However, you may feel anorexia, malaise and swelling in the lymph glands. If your fever does not decrease after the 3rd day of your rash; complications may occur.
15.-17. On the first day, your body collides with the virus and takes measles under control. Measles can cause serious complications in people whose immune system is not working properly.
Measles in Infants and Children
Measles is a type of infection caused by a highly contagious virus. When someone with the measles virus coughs or sneezes, droplets of the virus spread through the air and adhere to surfaces. Infants and unvaccinated children can infect their face, mouth, and eyes by inhaling or touching the virus droplets.
In particular, babies who are too young to be vaccinated, unvaccinated children, pregnant women and those with immune system problems should be kept away from people who are sick.
To keep your baby away from the virus;
- Wash your hands frequently,
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing,
- It should clean all surfaces,
- Constant ventilation of the house,
- It should prevent the contact of people with your baby,
- You should continue to breastfeed in order to have strong immunity.
If measles does not cause other diseases, it does not require treatment. However, Doctors recommend bed rest and soft foods with water. The most important thing in treatment is adequate fluid intake. Antibiotics are not recommended as measles is a viral infection.
Eyelids can be cleaned with warm water, and antipyretic drugs can be taken in case of high fever. It is important to keep the room air humid. In severe cases of measles, a high dose of vitamin A is added to the treatment with death in mind. The World Health Organization recommends that every child with measles in developing countries be given vitamin A.
Things to pay attention
- The child should rest at home for five days and should not be sent to school.
- School, nursery, and people in the workplace should be informed after the diagnosis of measles is final.
- Persons who come into contact with a child with disease should be vaccinated within 72 hours.
- Other people should be prevented from visiting the house.
- The child should stay in a separate room and no one should enter the room except the caregiver.
- The room should be ventilated, attention should be paid to the level of humidity and sunlight should be received.
- Persons responsible for the care of the patient should use a mask.
- The child should be fed with foods rich in vitamin A such as carrots, oranges and eggs.
If you are having problems with your health, you should go to the doctor or call 911. If you want to know more about these, you should follow U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.