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Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Measles

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Measles

10 August, 2022

Infection is common due to the change in weather due to which people easily catch infectious diseases such as cold, cough, or flu. Measles is also one of these infectious diseases that can happen to anyone. But in most cases, this infection is seen more in children than in the elderly and young people. This is an infection which cannot be ignored as a sign of changing weather.

Measles is a viral infection of the respiratory system that is easily transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person by respiratory droplets. Red rashes appear all over the body of the affected person. In the initial stage, this red rash first occurs on the head and then gradually spreads to the entire body.

Stages of Measles

Measles occurs in four stages, from the beginning to the end. Usually this phase lasts for 2-3 weeks, but sometimes it can take up to 4 weeks for recovery in severe cases. These steps are described below

  • Incubation phaseThe onset is the incubation phase. At this stage, the person comes into contact with the measles virus. Typically, this stage is 10 to 14 days before the symptoms of this infection start to appear.
  • Prodromal catarrhalThe second stage of this disease is called prodromal. At this stage of measles, some of its initial symptoms are visible. Generally, symptoms like cold, cough, fever, nervousness, and conjunctivitis occur at this stage.
  • Rash phaseMaculo-papular (flattened and red) rash appears 3-4 days after the prodromal phase. Along with this, the patient also experiences all the symptoms of the second stage. But this stage of measles is more painful and severe than the other two stages. During this, the patient also has a high fever (104 to 105).
  • Recovery phaseThis stage of measles is considered the final stage. At this stage, the patient starts to recover. In this, symptoms like cold, cough, fever, etc., start to get better. Along with this, rashes or boils also start to reduce.

Symptoms of Measles

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Constant runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Swelling or redness in the eyes
  • Small white colored blisters inside the mouth
  • In the initial stages, a red rash starts behind the ear
  • Muscle pain
  • Koplik’s spots: small white spots surrounded by redness on the buccal mucosa

Causes of Measles

Measles is usually caused when a virus of the paramyxovirus family, i.e., small parasitic microbes, enters the body. The infected droplets are then spread into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks without covering their mouth. The virus in the air droplets then enters the body through the breath of an uninfected person and infects it. After this, the virus attacks the cells present in the body. They also use cellular components to complete their life cycle. Its virus first infects the respiratory system. However, they spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. In addition, measles can also be spread through contact with objects, such as toys or drinking glasses, that have been infected by a sick person.

Risk factors for Measles

  • Children younger than 5 years of age are more prone to measles.
  • People who have not had the measles vaccination.
  • People with a weakened immune system.
  • Those who often travel from one place to another.
  • People with a deficiency of vitamin A.

Take these precautions in the case of Measles

  • Relax completely.
  • Avoid coming into contact with others.
  • Do not use electronic devices like TVs, games, mobiles etc.
  • Avoid eating spicy or junk food.
  • Children should get two doses of the MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.

Home Remedies for Measles

  • Neem leavesItching is a common symptom among patients with measles. In such a situation, neem leaves are beneficial to reduce itching due to their antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help in destroying the bacteria. For this, boil neem leaves in water and take a bath with this water.
  • Drink lemonadeDrinking lemon water is also beneficial in the case of measles due to the presence of vitamin C, which helps to increase the immunity of the body. It also helps in providing relief against the symptoms of measles like cold, cough, restlessness etc.
  • Coconut waterCoconut water is great for relieving measles. Medical research suggests that applying coconut water to the body can reduce the rash caused by measles. Apart from this, the consumption of coconut water is beneficial for patients with measles.
  • Herbal teaHerbal tea is also a natural Ayurvedic remedy for measles. According to scientific research done on this, consumption of chamomile tea reduces the discomfort caused by measles. Along with this, the properties present in it help with the symptoms of measles, such as cold, fever, and runny nose. Thus, consumption of chamomile tea or any other herbal tea is beneficial for measles patients.
  • Consume orange juiceConsume orange juice daily to reduce the symptoms of measles. In fact, oranges are rich in vitamins A and C, which strengthen the immune system. Also, according to research done on it, orange juice has an antiviral effect that reduces the symptoms of measles. Therefore, consumption of orange juice is beneficial.

When to go to the doctor?

See a doctor immediately if-

  • Rashes appear on the body, accompanied by persistent fever.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • If symptoms of measles appear during pregnancy.

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