Measles in children is one of the most contagious diseases. We tell you what its symptoms are and what precautions you can take.
If you have sons or daughters, you will be interested to know how measles affects children , a very contagious disease caused by the paramyxovirus. Check out more interesting articles on our site.
Measles is spread by contact with fluids from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person. One of the most common ways this happens is through sneezing or coughing, as they can release contaminated fluids into the air.
Thus, 90% of people who have not been vaccinated and who come into contact with a person who has measles will contract the disease.
HOW DOES MEASLES ACT IN CHILDREN?
The usual age at which measles appears in children ranges from 8 months to 7 years and contagion occurs through the respiratory route.
The incubation period (time that elapses from the first contact with the virus until the first symptoms appear) is 10 days.
Measles symptoms in children
- runny nose
- Watery and red eyes, conjunctivitis.
- Rashes in the form of red dots that spread throughout the body. Its appearance begins on the head, behind the ears, and spreads throughout the rest of the body, affecting the face, trunk and limbs. These rashes evolve over 10 days towards a scaly appearance, as if they were creating scabs.
- Cough may appear.
- Koplik’s spots. These are small red spots with a white center that appear on the inside of the cheeks (inside the mouth).
Measles should always be diagnosed by a health professional, who will assess the symptoms. So if your son or daughter suffers from any of them, the most appropriate thing is that you request a medical consultation.
Measles in children can be complicated by:
- Encephalitis: inflammation of the brain.
- Keratitis: inflammation that affects the cornea.
TREATMENT OF MEASLES IN CHILDREN
Because measles is caused by a virus, there is no specific treatment, the virus simply has to be allowed to run its course. Therefore, the child who becomes infected should drink plenty of fluids, rest and not go to school until the fifth day after the appearance of the skin rash, in order to avoid spreading the infection to other people. However, some medications can be used to relieve symptoms.
- Paracetamol, if the fever is very high or causes discomfort.
- Vaporizations or nebulizers for the disinfection of the nose and pharynx.
The best treatment for the prevention of measles in children is the Triple Viral vaccine , which also protects against rubella and mumps. Its administration is carried out in 2 doses from 12 months of age. Although the issue of vaccination has generated debate and controversy, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends vaccinating at the agreed times, since it is the most efficient way to prevent measles.
Some tips to keep in mind
- It is important that you do not medicate your son or daughter without the approval of the medical staff, as it can be dangerous. The best thing to do in case of doubt is to go to the pediatrician.
- The itch can be very annoying and irritating, so you better not get angry if your little one wants to scratch. You must be patient and look for remedies that relieve him, since he can get wounds that leave a scar.
- Confirm that you are vaccinated for measles or that you have already had it, if you also fall ill, you will not be able to give the necessary care to your son or daughter. If you are not sure whether or not you have been vaccinated, you can go to the hospital to review your records.