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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses  >  Measles

MEASLES

SYMPTOMS: The diagnosis of measles is suspected in a child who has not received the measles vaccine and who, after coming in contact with a case of measles, develops fever, dry cough, running of the nose, and watering of the eyes.

The symptoms worsen as the days pass. After 3 to 4 days (a day before the rash appears), the child gets white spots, like grains of salt on a red surface (koplick spots) inside the cheek opposite the first and second upper molar teeth. The rash appears the next day, first on the hairline and then spreading downward, starting as fine, slightly raised spots, which may join together to give a patchy appearance. The fever shoots up to around 104°F.

The child looks quite ill and loses his appetite. He may not even want to have water. If he is breastfed, he may demand feeds more often. The fever continues for about 3 days after the appearance of the rash, which lasts for 5 to 8 days. After the rash fades, the skin may tend to peel off.


How To Differentiate Measles From Other Similar Illnesses

When a mother tells me that her child got a second attack of measles or he had measles after having received the measles vaccine, it is often a case of mistaken diagnosis. The child probably had or is now having a measles-like illness and not measles. One such illness is exanthem subitum or roseola infanturn. This is also a viral infection in which the child gets high fever as in measles, but does not look too sick. There is hardly any cold or cough. After 3 days, the fever suddenly returns to normal to be followed the next day by a light red rash that is not raised from the skin. It spreads from the trunk or the face and then to the limbs and fades within a day. It may be noticed that in measles, the temperature rises as the rash appears and the fever continues for a few days more along with the rash. But in exanthem subitum, the fever returns to normal. 

TREATMENT: There is no specific treatment. For cough, a homemade syrup of 2 parts of honey, one part of lime juice and tulsi (or ginger) juice is helpful. (Also see Cough). 

A child can be given 1 to 2 teaspoons of this mixture 4 to 5 times a day. 

Children with measles prefer to stay in the dark as bright light causes discomfort to the eyes. 

For fever, sponging with slightly warm water can be done or paracetamol may be given. Daily sponging of the whole body is advisable. A bath with slightly warm water is also allowed. 

Give the child the food he asks for; no food restrictions are necessary. Make sure he drinks enough fluids including juice, coconut water and plain water. Consult your doctor to rule out complications if your child refuses all foods and liquids and if he has fast breathing, earache, persistent headache, drowsiness or vomiting, or if the fever and cough persist after about 10 days.

Your child with measles is infectious to others from 1 to 2 days before the onset of illness to about 4 days after the rash appears. Keep him home from school and away from your other children. If the patient’s brother or sister has not had measles before, they should not be sent to school or any crowded place for 10 days. This is to prevent them infecting people they come in contact with.




7 March, 2016

 
Part 4
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses

Abdominal Pain
Abrasions or Scratches
Acute Glomerulonephritis
Acute Nephritis
Acute Watery Diarrhoea
Addictions
Adenoids
AIDS
Allergies
Anaemia
Anorexia (Poor Appetite)
Asthma
ADHD
Autism
Backache
Bed-Wetting (Enuresis)
Birth Deformities
Bites and Stings
Bleeding
Bone, Joint and Muscle Injuries
Bowlegs and Knock-Knees
Breathlessness
Bronchiolitis
Burns
Calcium Deficiency
Cancer
Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Chickenpox
Choking
Circumcision
Cleft Lip and Palate
Common Cold
Congenital Heart Disease
Constipation
Convulsions or Fits or Seizures
Cough
Croup
Crying
Cuts
Dengue Fever
Diabetes Mellitus
Diarrhoea, Dysentery ...
Diphtheria
Down's Syndrome
Earache, Ear Infections ...
Electric Shock
Encephalitis
Eye Problems
Fears
Foot Problems
German Measles (Rubella)
Glands in the Neck ...
Headache
Head Injury
Hepatitis
Hydrocephalus
Hypertension
Hypospadias
Influenza (Flu)
Jaundice
Joint Disorders
Kala-Azar
Leptospirosis
Limp and Pain in the Legs
Malaria
Malnutrition (Undernutrition)
Measles
Meningitis
Meningomyelocele
Menstrual Problems
Mental Retardation (MR)
Mouth To Mouth Breathing
Mumps
Nephrotic Syndrome
Nose-Related Problems
Obesity
Pneumonia
Poisoning
Poliomyelitis
Premature Baby
Prolapse of the Rectum
Rabies
Rheumatic Fever
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rickets
Short Child
Skin Conditions
Sleep and Sleep Problems
Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Splinters
Stammering
Stridor (Noisy Breathing)
Teething and Care of Teeth
Tetanus (Lock Jaw)
Thrush
Thumb-Sucking
Tics
Torticollis
Tracheoesophageal Fistula
Tropical Eosinophilia
Tuberculosis (TB)
Typhoid
Umbilical Problems
Undescended Testis
Urinary Infection
Vaginal Discharge
Vomiting
Wheezing
Whooping Cough (Pertusis)



Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
Home
Introduction
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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