Measles also called as rubella is a viral infection of the respiratory system to begin with. As per reports from World Health Organization, in children, one of the leading causes of death is measles.
The disease spreads through contact with infected saliva and mucus and is very contagious. When measles affected person sneezes or coughs, the infection is released into the air and can live for several hours on surfaces. If a person is in close proximity with the virus, he or she can get infected. Infection risk increases while sharing utensils, or glass etc of an infected person. The disease occurs in unvaccinated children primarily.
Within 2 weeks of exposure to the virus, some of the symptoms that appear include muscle aches, cough, white spots inside the mouth, fever, sore throat, red eyes, runny nose and sensitivity towards light.
A classic sign of getting measles is widespread rash on the skin which can last for 2 weeks. On exposure to the virus, the red rash with itchy bumps appears on the skin and commonly on the head, within the first 3-5 days and gradually spreads to other body parts.
If you suspect that you are affected by measles, a doctor should be immediately contacted. Diagnosis is done by the doctor by checking out skin rash, sore throat, cough, fever and white spots in the mouth. If diagnosis isn’t satisfactory then a blood test may also be done to check measles causing virus.
A person gets infected with measles virus and has not received measles vaccination, then the person must visit the doctor within 72 hours. Infection can be prevented with an immunoglobulin dose within 6 days of contact with a measles infected person.
The vaccine generally does not have side effects, but in very rare cases, seizure, coma, brain damage or deafness is caused. Some parents are of the belief that the vaccine causes autism when administered to children. Many studies however prove that there is no link between immunizations and autism.
To treat measles there is no prescription medication. Within 2-3 weeks the virus and symptoms disappear typically. However rest, lots of fluids, Vitamin A supplement, humidifier or acetaminophen may be advised by the doctor.