Measles is an acute febrile eruption, which is a worldwide phenomenon. It is an extremely infectious disease. It occurs in children in epidemics especially during the first eight years. In India it is common during the months of January-March. A virus causes measles. Measles are also called Rubeola. Measles is a contagious disese of children. Measles rarely strikes adults, but if it does, it leaves them prostrated for quite some time - more common in warm than in cold weather.
Measles , also known as rubeola , is a disease caused by a virus , specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus . It causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms, including a fever, cough, and runny nose. Measles is a leading vaccine-preventable childhood killer in the world. Millions of children still remain at risk from measles and many children, particularly under the age of five, will die from it. Measles is spread through respiration (contact with fluids from an infected person's nose and mouth, either directly or through aerosol transmission), and is highly contagious—90% of people without immunity sharing a house with an infected person will catch it. As a respiratory disease, measles virus normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and in the cells that line the lungs. However, vaccination programs are incomplete in much of the world, but global health organizations are working hard to address this problem. In fact, experts estimate that 10% of young adults are currently susceptible to rubella, which could pose a danger to any children they might have someday. The widespread nature of the disease is why vaccination programs are still necessary in countries where few cases of measles occur.
The thought of measles may bring to mind the red, blotchy rash that often accompanies this disorder. Since measles is caused by a virus, symptoms typically go away on their own without medical treatment once the virus has run its course. Because of the Measles Initiative's success in Africa, the program has expanded into Asia, where the measles burden remains high. Reports of measles go back to at least 600 BCE, however, the first scientific description of the disease and its distinction from smallpox is attributed to the Persian physician Ibn Razi (Rhazes) 860-932 who published a book entitled "Smallpox and Measles" (in Arabic: Kitab fi al-jadari wa-al-hasbah ). Before a vaccine against rubella became available in 1969, rubella epidemics occurred every 6 to 9 years. Kids ages 5 to 9 were primarily affected, and many cases of congenital rubella occurred as well. Approximately 30 million to 40 million cases of measles occur worldwide each year, resulting in more than 750,000 deaths. But while your child is sick, it's important to make sure that he or she has plenty of fluids and rest, and to keep your child from spreading the infection to others. Similar to rubeola, lifetime immunity usually occurs after you have rubella.
Causes of Measles
The common Causes of Measles :
- Measles can also be passed by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected persons or objects contaminated with the measles virus.
- Travel to areas where measles is endemic or contact with travelers to endemic areas
- Underlying immunodeficiency
- Infants who lose passive antibody prior to the age of routine immunization
- It has been known for centuries, having been described in writings as long ago as the tenth century.
- Measles virus, the cause of measles, is classified as a Morbillivirus.
Symptoms of Measles
Some common Symptoms of Measles :
- Sore throat
- Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Runny nose
- Sensitivity to light
- Tiny red spots with bluish-white centers on the inner lining of the cheek, called Koplik's spots
- Muscle pain
- A rundown feeling
Treatment of Measles
Here is the list of the methods for treating Measles :
- Consider administration of antibiotics (if evidence exists of otitis media or bacterial pneumonia), vitamin A supplements (particularly for children aged 6-24 mo), or ribavirin (experimental).
- The patient should drink as much as possible, even if off their food.
- A humidifier or vaporizer may ease the cough.
- If they do, antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial infections.
- To prevent or modify measles in exposed susceptible individuals, consider administering MV vaccine or human immunoglobulin .
- If secondary infections (usually bacterial in origin, and therefore treatable) come on while the patient has measles, then the doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
- There is no specific treatment, and basically treatment for the symptoms of fever , aches and pains etc., is all that is possible.