Measles is an infectious-contagious disease that affects babies, children, adults, who have not been vaccinated, as recommended by the Official Childhood Vaccination Calendar. It is the most serious disease in infants.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had estimated the eradication of this disease in society by 2015, but the rebound in the number of measles cases, due to the relaxation of parents in following the Official Vaccination Calendar Childish has skyrocketed the number of measles cases in Europe And in the rest of the world. Measles is a disease that can cause death or lead to serious complications such as encephalitis.
Initially, the infection caused by the measles virus is characterized in infants and children, by presenting:
- Red, watery eyes, or conjunctivitis
- Lack of appetite
- Nasal congestion with a runny nose
- Dry cough
- General discomfort
After the first 24 hours, small white spots begin to appear inside the mouth, and then red skin eruptions on the face, behind the ears, on the neck, later spreading to the entire body.
In general, these spots are not very itchy and usually disappear in 2 to 4 days. In babies under 9 months, it can appear mildly due to the presence of protective maternal antibodies. The fever may be very high and the child will feel unwell for 3 to 5 days.
Measles is an infectious disease caused by the measles virus, known as myxovirus, for which there is a vaccine. The incubation period lasts between 10 and 14 days from contact. The period of contagion is variable: from 4 days before the onset of symptoms to 4 or 5 days after, after the skin lesions have disappeared.
Measles is spread by contact with nasal and oral fluids, such as discharge, from one infected person to another.
Being a viral infection, antibiotics should not be given, so there is no choice but to pass it. The recommendation is to use paracetamol to relieve symptoms. Antibiotics should only be used to avoid secondary bacterial complications and whenever prescribed by the child's pediatrician.
Antipyretics to lower fever, nebulizers to clear the nose, eye drops, and antihistamines (if necessary, to reduce itching) can help the baby and child to relieve the symptoms of measles. Respiratory isolation of the patient is recommended for the entire period of the disease to avoid contagion to other members of the family.
The complications that measles can present are laryngitis, otitis (it is the most frequent), bronchiolitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, diarrhea (more frequent in malnourished children) and acute encephalitis.
In the event that this disease is not well treated in children and adults, complications in their health can occur, such as:
- severe diarrhea
- Ear infections
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
Therefore, the vaccine is important.
The best treatment is prevention and nothing is safer than vaccination of the child, from 12 months of age. Measles is spread by direct contact from one child to another. In addition, the diagnosis of measles should always be made by a health professional.
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