Measles: Symptoms and Treatment

Measles: Symptoms and Treatment | HealthSoul

Measles is a form of paramyxovirus and is very contagious. Because it’s contagious, measles remains a big concern around the world and is one the leading causes of preventable deaths in children 5 years old and under. Even in developed countries like the United States, outbreaks still happen.

What is Measles?

Risk Factors for Measles

There are a few risk factors to keep an eye out for when it comes to measles, including the following:

Causes of Measles

Measles is a condition caused by a very contagious virus that can reside in your nose and throat. Because of this, it’s easy to infect others by sneezing, coughing, or talking because tiny droplets infected with the virus spray from your mouth or nose when doing any of these three things. To make matters worse, the virus itself can live for up to two hours in the air or on surfaces and can infect you by entering your respiratory tract and mucous membranes. From there, the virus spreads to your bloodstream, lymph nodes, and organs.

Symptoms of Measles

If you have measles, you’re likely to experience the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Light sensitivity
  • Red eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • White spots inside your mouth

In addition to these symptoms, you may also develop a rash that usually lasts up to seven days. In most cases, this rash is itchy and begins at the head before traveling down the rest of your body.

Symptoms of Measles

Diagnosis of Measles

If you think you may have measles, visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis. To determine your condition, your doctor will perform a physical exam and check any symptoms you may have, including a rash, spots in your mouth, cough, fever, or a sore throat. If the doctor is unable to make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, additional testing, including blood tests, may be required to check for the measles virus.

Treatment of Measles

If you’re diagnosed with measles, your doctor may recommend the following treatment options to help alleviate symptoms:

  • Acetaminophen to help relieve muscle aches and fevers
  • Plenty of rest to support your immune system as it battles the virus
  • Lots of fluids (at least six glasses of water each day)
  • Vitamin A supplements

Unfortunately, there aren’t any prescription medications available yet to treat the measles virus.

Prognosis of Measles

Despite being extremely contagious, the outlook for measles is good, and the death rate in both children and adults is low. If you’re infected with the measles virus, your chance of making a full recovery is high. Measles is one of those rare viruses that makes you immune for life after you’ve had it. Although, it’s important to note that if you have a weak immune system, you may experience complications.

Complications of Measles

Because the virus is contagious, it’s important for children to receive the vaccination. Unvaccinated individuals and those with a weak immune system are vulnerable to a host of complications, including the following:

Complications of Measles