Measles in Children

What is measles?

Measles  in Children is a very contagious disease caused by a virus that spreads easily through the air. Direct contact is not necessary for the disease to spread. The virus can survive in the air for a several hours. Being in the same place as an infected person who is contagious for a short period of time can be enough to catch the infection and then develop the illness.

Measles symptoms

Symptoms usually begin 8 - 12 days after you are exposed to the virus. This is called the incubation period.
Symptoms may include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Light sensitivity (photophobia)
  • Muscle pain
  • Rash
    -Usually appears 3 - 5 days after the first signs of being sick
    - May last 4 - 7 days
    -Usually starts on the head and spreads to other areas, moving down the body
    -Rash may appear as flat, discolored areas (macules) and solid, red, raised areas (papules) that later join together
  • Redness and irritation of the eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Tiny white spots inside the mouth (Koplik's spots)

Can measles be prevented?

Yes. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against measles.
The vaccine has been available and in use for about 30 years. It has proven to prevent and control measles, mumps and rubella. It is very safe. Most people have no reaction to the vaccine. Local reactions at injection site can occur but are short-lasting. Sometimes a person can develop fever and a temporary non-contagious rash 5 to 12 days after vaccination. Other side effects can also occur.

Measles Treatments 

There is no specific treatment for the measles  in children . The following may relieve symptoms:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Bed rest
  • Humidified air

Some children may need vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A reduces the risk of death and complications in children in less developed countries, where children may not be getting enough vitamin A. People who don't get enough vitamin A are more likely to get infections, including measles. It is not clear whether children in more developed countries would benefit from supplements.

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