Measles is a disease produced by a virus found in the mucosa of the nose and throat; it is contagious and is transmitted by the fluids expelled when we sneeze or cough. Generally, children who have not been vaccinated are the most likely to suffer from this infection, although it can also occur in adults. Measles is characterized by the appearance of a red rash and may have been spread up to 4 days before it appears. At FastlyHealwe explains measles’ causes, symptoms, and treatment in children.
Causes of measles in children
Measles is caused by a virus called myxovirus, and its incubation process lasts between 8 and 12 days; on the other hand, contagion occurs four days before symptoms appear and usually last approximately between 4 and 7 days. The chances of contracting measles from being in contact with an infected person or if you have not been vaccinated is 90%, and it is spread through droplets that come out of sneezes, coughs, or from the nose.
The cases in which some children are at higher risk of getting measles are:
- They have not been vaccinated against measles.
- They are deficient in vitamin A.
- They have traveled to countries where they are more prone to infection without being vaccinated.
Symptoms of measles in children
The main symptoms appear between 8 and 12 days after the incubation of the virus and present as:
- Runny nose
- Crying eyes
- White spots inside the cheeks.
- Muscle pain.
- Throat pain.
- The red rash begins on the head, spreads over the body, and is itchy.
Treatment of measles in children
There is no specific treatment for measles; however, as it is a viral infection, antibiotics will not be administered; they will only be used in case of complications, and the pediatrician will prescribe them. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen will work to control fever, as well as medications to relieve coughs and clear the airways. It is advisable to rest and ensure the isolation of the infected child to avoid infecting others and feeding and hydration are essential to help in recovery.
Some children may need vitamin A supplements, which will help reduce possible complications and increase the production of cells in the immune system. The difficulties that can occur from measles can raer severe consequences for the child’s health, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and could also develop earaches.
There are some preventive measures to avoid contagion of measles and others that we must take into account to prevent possible complications:
- The vaccination after 12 months is essential and will be the only preventative measure taken; this is in the MMR vaccine covering measles, mumps, and rubella. It is possible that after the vaccination, the child will present a rash typical of the disease, fever, and mild muscle pain, which will last for three days and is normal.
- Avoid cold and drafty rooms.
- Never give aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid to lower a fever.
- It is important to rest during this time.
When to see the doctor?
It is always necessary to consult a pediatrician in cases of measles however, if the child presents any of the following symptoms, it is essential to go immediately to a medical assistance center:
- If the fever does not go down after four days and the cough and rash get worse.
- Earache appears.
- If the child makes noises when breathing or is short of breath.
- You have a headache and vomiting.
- Problems appear in his motor skills, or there are seizures.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.