Measles: Risks, Diagnosis and Treatment

Measles: Risks, Diagnosis and Treatment

Measles is a life threatening disease. It should be treated when the person develops symptoms. When left untreated, it can lead to pneumonia, severe diarrhea, swelling in brain etc. Continue reading to know about risk, diagnosis and treatment of measles…

Measles is a disease that causes rashes all over the body. It can easily spread when the infected person sneezes, coughs or shares foods or drinks. It is caused by a virus.

According to WHO, measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children. In the year 2013, it claimed 1,45,700 lives. Generally it occurs in children under the age of 5.

High fever is the first sign of measles. Gradually the person develops runny nose, sore throat, cough, sneeze etc. With time, the person develops rashes.

What increases the risk?

Children who haven’t received vaccination are at the highest risk of developing measles. Pregnant women who haven’t received the vaccination also are at risk.

Measles is a common disease in parts of Africa and Asia. More than 95% of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita income and weak health infrastructures.

Measles outbreaks will be severe in the countries that have faced a natural disaster.

How is it diagnosed?

The doctor will get to know about your symptoms. He/she will carry out a physical exam. The doctor will look for the Koplik’s spots. He/she can suggest a blood test or viral culture to confirm if the rash is due to measles.

How is it treated?

Measles is treated in the following ways:

  1. Vaccination: Non-immunized people are given vaccine within 72 hours of the exposure to measles virus. With the vaccination, the symptoms will turn milder and will last for short time.
  2. Immune serum globulin: People who are exposed to virus can get an injection of proteins which is called as immune serum globulin. When this injection is given within 6 days of exposure of virus, the symptoms will become less severe.

The infected person can be given the following medications:

  1. Fever reducers: The doctor can recommend acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to bring down the fever related to measles.
  2. Antibiotics: If an infected person develops ear infection or pneumonia, the doctor will recommend an antibiotic.
  3. Vitamin A: Low levels of vitamin A in the body can make the measles severe. The doctor will recommend 2,00,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A for 2 days.

Measles is a serious disease. Know more about it! Consult a pediatrician online at eVaidya now.


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