Friday, December 11, 2015

Measles

What is measles?

Measles is a type of viral infection that affects the respiratory system. The condition is also known as rubeola.

What causes measles?

Measles is a viral infection, wherein the virus speedily replicates inside the respiratory tract of infected individuals. When infected individuals cough or sneeze, the droplets containing virus get dispersed in the air, which can readily gain entry into the body of another individual who inhales them. The virus can also stay in an active state on surfaces for several hours.

How does measles spread?

Measles is a highly contagious disease, which spreads through infected droplets that are dispersed in the air when an individual coughs or sneezes. The virus can remain in the active state for up to 2 hours when dispersed in the air. The disease can also spread when an individual comes in direct contact with nasal or throat secretions.

What are the symptoms of measles?
Signs and symptoms of measles show effect 10 – 14 days after exposure to the virus. Individuals affected by measles suffer from the following symptoms:
  •  Fever
  • Running nose
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Development of white colored tiny spots inside mouth or cheeks – also known as Koplik’s spots.
  • Development of large skin rashes, described as “flat blotches” that overlap one another

What are the different stages of measles?

Measles infection follows 4 stages over 2 – 3 weeks.
Stage 1- Period of infection and incubation: In this, the virus incubates 10 – 14 days after the individual has been exposed to the virus. During this stage, there are no signs and symptoms of measles.
Stage 2 – Nonspecific signs and symptoms: In the initial stages, the individual experience mild fever along with persistent cough, conjunctivitis and runny nose. These symptoms usually last for 2 – 3 days.
Stage 3 – Acute illness and rash: In this stage, there is development of rash, characterized by red spots and bumps, that appear in clusters. The rash first appears on the face, primarily behind the ears.
Stage 4 – Communicable period: In this, the affected individual can easily spread the virus 4 days prior to the appearance of the rash and till the time the rash has resolved.

What is the treatment of measles?

There is no specific treatment regime for measles. However, with the help of some medications, the symptoms can be reduced to a great extent. Medications such as acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen are given to reduce fever. Antibiotics are administered only when a bacterial infection such as ear infection or pneumonia develops along with measles. Giving vitamin A doses in 200, 000 IU for 2 days is known to lessen the degree of severity of measles.

How can measles be prevented?

Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles. In cases when individuals have not received vaccination and someone in the family has contracted measles, then it is best to keep the affected person in isolation. This would help prevent the spread of disease to other members of the family.

What are the diet and lifestyle changes in measles?

Certain lifestyle changes are necessary to cope with measles. It is necessary to drink plenty of fluids to replenish the fluid lost through sweating and fever. It is also necessary to use a humidifier to get relief from cough and congestion. During an attack of measles, affected individuals may find it difficult to tolerate bright lights. In such cases, it is best to switch to dim lights and make use of sunglasses. Watching television or reading books should also be kept to a minimum.

What is Ayurvedic treatment of measles?


Ayurvedic supplements that have been proven to be beneficial in treatment of measles include prawalprishti, kasturibhiravras and swamamakshikbhasma.

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