||WHAT IS MEASLES?
- Measles is a highly contagious airborne disease that spreads through cough, sneezing or direct contact with nasal or oral secretions.
- Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure and last 7–10 days.
- Initial symptoms typically include fever (often greater than 40°C), cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes.
- Small white spots may form inside the mouth two or three days after the start of symptoms.
- A red, flat rash, which usually starts on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body, occurs
- typically from three to five days after the start of symptoms.
- Most people become infectious between four days prior to four days after the emergence of
- the measles rash.
WHO IS AT RISK, AND HOW SERIOUS IS IT?
- Babies and young children who have not been immunized have a very high risk of contracting measles.
- Measles spreads very easily in school environments.
- Complications are relatively common, especially in babies younger than five years, adults older than 20 and immune compromised people.
- Measles virus can suppress the immune system for weeks and months, contributing to secondary bacterial infections such as ear and lung infections.
- Pneumonia (due to the measles virus or secondary bacterial infection) and encephalitis (severe brain infection) are the leading causes of death.
- Measles is a major cause of blindness in developing countries, especially in those suffering from malnutrition and Vitamin A deficiency.
HOW CAN IT BE TREATED?
- There is no specific medical treatment for measles.
- Children who are diagnosed with measles should be isolated to minimize transmission.
- Give your child plenty of fluids and rest.
- Children who are severely affected should receive Vitamin A supplements.
- Give medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat fever or discomfort.
- Avoid aspirin in a child who has a viral illness.
HOW CAN WE PREVENT INFECTION?
- In order to minimize the spreading of the virus, good hygiene should be maintained and children should avoid sharing the same utensils or having mouth to mouth contact.
- It is essential to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom, especially in kindergartens and daycare centers.
Call your pediatrician right away if you think that your child has measles or has been
exposed to someone with measles.
Consult with your pediatrician regarding vaccinations and prevention:
- If your child is below 1 year old or has never received MMR Vaccine.
- If your child is taking medications that suppress the immune system (steroids; chemotherapy)
- Has tuberculosis, cancer, or a disease that affects the immune system.
Family Medical Practice, as part of our service to the community, is offering free consultation for vaccinations to ensure our children are properly vaccinated for measles and all other routine vaccinations.
Children have special requirements when it comes to healthcare. At Family Medical Practice we understand this, and that’s why we’ve made it our primary focus over the last 20 years. Our highly-skilled pediatric specialists and general practitioners are working together to provide the expert care that your children deserve in a warm and child-friendly environment.