Measles is a infectious viral sickness which is most common in young children. Because of vaccination, the illness isn’t as common in the UK these days, and was recently eradicated in 2016, however it is still common in places around the world including in Europe. The illness usually lasts around a week to 10 days and doesn’t usually develop any further, though in some people it can lead to complications including pneumonia and encephalitis (infections of the lungs and brain) which can be life threatening. So it’s important to know the signs just to be safe.
- Measles generally start out with general cold symptoms including runny noses, sneezing, and coughing.
- Sore red eyes and sensitivity to light.
- A high temperature around 40c.
- Small white spots on the inner cheeks.
The symptoms will later develop in to a reddish brown blotchy rash which normally starts on the neck and head, and spreads across the body.
How Spreading Of The Illness Happens
The measles virus is spread by the droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when the sick person coughs and sneezes, which can be caught by another when breathed in, or touched if they land on a surface.
The person is infectious from when the symptoms begin, ’til around 4 days after the appearance of the rash.
How To Treat It
If your little one has measles symptoms, it is advised that you take them to their doctor as soon as possible, though it’s best to ring up first so the surgery can make plans to reduce the risk of the infection spreading. You should also ideally keep your little one off nursery for four days from the appearance of the rash.
The NHS advises one tackles measles by;
- Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce high temperatures, headaches and aches and pains, though it’s best to consult your doctor on what medicine is advised for your little one to take, as aspirin shouldn’t be given to children under 16.
- Drinking lots of water to combat dehydration.
- Closing curtains and reducing lighting for sensitive eyes.
- Cleaning the eyes with damp cotton wool.