Measles and Its Treatment

Measles is a viral infection that is serious for small children but is easily preventable by a vaccine. The disease spreads through the air by respiratory droplets produced from coughing or sneezing.

Causes

Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus that replicates in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult. Through coughs, sneezes or talks, infected droplets spray into the air, where other people can inhale them.

The infected droplets may also land on a surface, where they remain active and contagious for several hours. You can contract the virus by putting your fingers in your mouth or nose or rubbing your eyes after touching the infected surface.

About 90% of susceptible people who are exposed to someone with the virus will be infected.

Risk factors

* Being vaccinated.

* Traveling internationally.

* Having a vitamin A deficiency.

How it spreads

– By airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).

– By saliva (kissing or shared drinks).

– By touching a contaminated surface.

– By skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs).

– By mother to baby by pregnancy, labor, or nursing.

Symptoms

Measles signs and symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Signs and symptoms include:

– Fever

– Dry cough

– Runny nose

– Sore throat

– Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)

– A skin rash that often flow into one another

Management

* Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen for aches, pains or fever.

* Getting plenty of rest.

* Drinking enough fluids.

* Gargling with salt water.

* Avoiding harsh light if your eyes hurt.

Complications

These include:

* Diarrhea.

* Ear infections.

* Pneumonia.

* Encephalitis. This condition can cause inflammation of the brain, leading to seizures, hearing loss or learning disabilities.

Prevention and Treatment

– Preventable by vaccine

– Treatable by a medical professional

– Requires a medical diagnosis

– Lab tests or imaging often required

Medication

– Fever reducers.
– Antibiotics.
– Vitamin A

Source: Clevelandclinic

Written by: Sarah Amah

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