It is an acute, rash infectious disease caused by the measles virus. It is a highly contagious infection that is transmitted from person to person through air droplets. The incubation period of the virus is 10-14 days. The most contagious period is two days before the symptoms begin and four days after the onset of the rash. Once passed, it releases lifelong immunity.
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What are the symptoms of measles?
- 1-3. Between days: Mild or high fever, dry cough, runny nose, red eyes. Small white dots (Koplik spots) that appear on the gums and cheeks near the upper molars are diagnostic for measles.
- 4-8. Between days: High fever (39o -40oC), characteristic rash. The rash spreads from behind the ear to the face, then to the trunk and then to the arms and legs. After a while, it may fade in the same order and leave a temporary color change in its place.
- Inflammation of the eye conjunctiva (conjunctivitis) may occur. The eyes become sensitive to light.
Can measles cause other diseases?
Measles infection can cause re-activation of the tuberculosis infection, pneumonia, inflammation of the lymph nodes in the neck, otitis media and inflammation of the brain.
How is measles treated?
- It is appropriate to isolate the patient for 10 days.
- Bed rest is required until the fever subsides.
- Treatment is applied for complaints. Painkillers, antipyretics and cough syrups can be used.
- Antibiotic therapy should not be given unless complications due to bacteria develop.
- The disease can be prevented or the course of the disease can be alleviated by administering gamma globulin to people (eg, family members) who come into contact with a child with measles.
How to prevent measles?
A single dose of attenuated live virus vaccine is administered to 15-month-old children. In children with nutritional or immune system disorders, another booster dose is given after 6 months. All children over 9 months of age can be vaccinated during epidemic periods. In this case, another booster dose is given after 15 months are completed.
What are the situations when a doctor should be consulted?
- Your child has measles and has a progressively worsening cough or phlegm. In this case, viral pneumonia (pneumonia) may have developed.
- If your child has measles and tends to sleep continuously for the week after the rash starts, is restless and nervous, delirious, or has severe convulsions. In this case, brain inflammation may have developed.
- If your child has measles and also has difficulty hearing or earache. In this case, otitis media may have developed.