MEASLES

Description

Measles is a viral infection of the respiratory system. Caused by morbillivirus, measles is very contagious and can spread through contact with infected mucus and saliva. An infected person can release the infection into the air when they cough or sneeze.

The symptoms of measles generally appear about 7 to 14 days after a person is infected.

Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.

History

16th-century Aztec drawing of someone with measles

In the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age.

According to the CDC, it is estimated 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected with measles each year, of which an estimated 400 to 500 people died of measles every year. This puts the the chance of death to measles before the measles vaccines was .0001%.

For example, in 1961, there were 434 measles deaths, of which 268 had pneumonia.

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • red, watery eyes

3-5 days after symptoms begin, a rash appears.

The rash usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.

Treatments

Rest

When you’re sick, whatever it is that you caught, rest is always best. Also, it’s nature’s way of imposing a quarantine to prevent spreading the virus to others who may be more vulnerable than you. Be sure to rest as much as possibly, as well as your eyes, which may be extra sensitive to light.

Get Respiratory Relief

As measles is a respiratory infection similar to influenza, you may want use a humidifier, sip tea with honey, and drink plenty of liquids for a runny nose, sneezing, cough and sore throat.

Drink Fluids

Hydration is always key with every sickness, especially those with fevers. Drink fresh organic juices such as orange and lemon and pineapple for extra vitamin c content.

Vitamin A

Deficiency in Vitamin A is connected with more severe symptoms to measles infections. Measles infection actually takes up the body’s vitamin A stores, so it is important to replenish Vitamin A as a part of your recovery process.

The WHO recommends “oral dose of 200,000 IU (or 100,000 IU in infants) of vitamin A per day for two days to children with measles in areas where vitamin A deficiency may be present.”

Turmeric

Turmeric has antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the symptoms of measles. Mix one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of ground turmeric in one glass of warm milk (coconut or almond or cow’s milk).

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate is a very important antioxidant that helps treat flu-like symptoms and helps the body repair damage. High doses of vitamin c have been shown battle many viruses including measles.

Barley

Barley is very effective home remedy when it comes to skin irritation and itching because it is packed with minerals, Vitamin C and antioxidants. Also it is rich in zinc which can speed up the healing process. Use barley like a tea and drink multiple times per day.

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