Measles: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Complications and Prevention

An article on Measles (“moju in yoruba”): Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, complications and Prevention, can bitter leaf cure measles, yoruba herbs for measles, home remedy for measles in Nigeria

Measles is the most contagious disease on Earth. It can have devastating consequences. But it is completely preventable. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your community.

Measles otherwise known as rubeola is an acute illness that is very communicable. It is endemic in large metropolitan areas but seasonal, usually dry season, in small areas.

Causative organism and mode of transmission

It is viral in origin. It is caused by paramyxovirus. The mode of transmission is by:

• putting your fingers in your mouth or nose

• rubbing your eyes.

• Inhaling the droplets of infected person through sneezing, coughing, or talking

Humans are the reservior. In an unimmunised population about 90 percent would have had measle by the age of 5 years.

Risk factors

Risk factors for measles include:

  • Being unvaccinated. If you haven’t received the vaccine for measles, you’re much more likely to develop the disease.
  • Traveling internationally. If you travel to developing countries, where measles is more common, you’re at higher risk of catching the disease.
  • Having a vitamin A deficiency. If you don’t have enough vitamin A in your diet, you’re more likely to have more-severe symptoms and complications.

Incubation period

The incubation period is 10 days (8 -13 days). Between exposure and occurrence of fever is 10 days. Between occurrence and occurrence of rash is 14 days. The period of communicability is from the appearance  of fever to four days after appearance of rash. Every body is susceptible to the disease except infant of mothers who had the disease. This gives the infant passive immunity for up to four months of life.

You have no signs or symptoms of measles during this time. Signs and symptoms appear after incubation period.

 

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

• fever

• dry cough (barking cough)

• runny nose

• sore throat

• inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)

• tiny white spots found inside the mouth

• skin rash

* muscle pains

Other symptoms especially in children include: irritable and unable yo sleep, refusal of food, and diarrhoea.

Symptoms are more common in amongsr malnourished children in whose case fatality is very high.

 

Treatment

Measles is a viral infection that is self limiting. However, it is easily secondarily infected by bacteria. The treatment include:

1. Broad spectrum antibiotics such as intravenous rocephin (ceftriaxone) @ 50 to 100mg/kg per dose daily for 5 days

2. Syrup paracetamol or ibuprofen 5ml tds for 3 days

3. Syrup Vitamin C 5ml tds for one week

4. Syrup vitamin A 3ml – 5ml daily for 5 days

5. Cough syrup 5ml tds for 3 days

6. Calamine lotion apply bd for 5 days (it reduces itching, scarring and soothes the skin)

7. Drink plenty of water

8. Restrain the hand from the eyes and ears

 

Complications

If measles are left untreated, it can lead to complications like:

* Upper respiratory tract infection like laryngitis and croup

* Ear infection

* Blindness

* Protein- Energy Malnutrition

* Dehydration

* Pneumonia especiay bronchopnuemonia

* Encephalitis (viral meningitis)

* Having measles in pregnancy can cause preterm labor, low birth weight and maternal death.

Prevention

Do you know that immunization is the only way to protect your child, yourself and others in your community against serious diseases like measles. The measles vaccine has been in use for more than 50 years. It is safe, effective and inexpensive. The vaccine is taken at 9months of age. It has been reduced to 7 months of age. Measles vaccine confers lifelong immunity.  Proper handwashing (to break the chain of infection) also helps in cases of epidemic.

NB: Yoruba herbs and bitter leaf to cure measles? No. Don’t try this at home. Yes bitter leaf and other yoruba herbs are being researched to help in the symptomatic treatment of measles but findings have NOT being concluded. Bitter leaf and gin cannot cure measles. I do NOT recommend them.

Caveat: This article is only for your information and enlightenment. It is not a substitute to seeing a medical doctor.

Measles
A baby with measles
Credit: fatherly.com

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *