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Measles: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Measles is often confused with rashes or skin allergy but here are the symptoms to make it easy to recognize.

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Measles: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
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Measles is a viral infection and is categorised as an airborne disease. Measles infection is highly contagious and the symptoms do not appear immediately but take almost 10-12 days to appear after exposure to the virus, The symptoms may last for a period of 14 days or more.

Another name for measles is rubeola, but they last for 10 days and red bumps or rashes are the main symptoms. Measles doesn't have a definite cure but there are vaccines to prevent the onset of the disease.

Measles infection is again in the news due to the measles outbreak in Mumbai. One death has been reported due to the infection. The child was a year old. There have been 99 cases of measles since September in Mumbai and 126 since January this year.

Measles is a childhood infection and is quite common. It spreads easily and can be serious or fatal for small children. Vaccination is the only way to prevent the disease and the infection kills more than 200,000 people a year, especially children.

Here are the common symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of the viral infection- measles.


Measles: Symptoms

According to the doctors of Mayo Clinic, here are the common signs and symptoms of Measles that appear 10-12 days after being exposed to the virus.

  • Fever

  • Dry cough

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Inflamed eyes

  • Tiny white spots on the inside of the cheeks

  • Skin rash

  • Fatigue.

  • Muscle pain.

  • Sensitivity to light

Measles: Causes

According to US NIH, measles is caused by an extremely contagious virus called morbillivirus and other causes include:

  • Contaminated droplets spread through the air

  • Kissing someone who has measles.

  • Sharing drinks or food with the infected person.

  • Shaking hands or holding hands with the infected person.

  • Measles can also spread from pregnant people to their babies

    It can take six to 21 days for the symptoms of measles to appear after you’ve been infected.

A doctor examines you physically and runs a few laboratory tests to find the virus in samples of:

  • Blood.

  • Secretions from your nose and throat.

  • Urine


Measles: Treatment 

According to the doctors of Cleveland Clinic, there is no cure for measles infection once it occurs. Doctors will only provide medicines to tackle the symptoms and prescribe ample rest to prevent the case from getting worse.

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be prescribed for aches, pains or fever.

  • Plenty of rest to fight the fatigue.

  • Drinking enough fluids.

  • Gargling with salt water to prevent sore throat.

  • Avoiding harsh light if you become sensitive to light.

  • Post-exposure vaccination may be given to infants within 72 hours of exposure to the measles virus to provide protection against it.

  • Immune serum globulin is given to people who are pregnant, infants, or have weakened immune systems. It is an injection of proteins (antibodies) given within six days of exposure to the virus to prevent measles or make symptoms less severe.

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Topics:  Measles 

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