Measles was once a prevalent childhood disease. It is important to note that most cases of measles were complicated with encephalitis, pneumonia and seizures. With the introduction of a vaccine, the number of cases drastically dwindled.
Children with the condition are considered contagious starting 4 days prior they develop the rash up to 4 days after the rash started to erupt.
How is it managed
If a child did not receive the vaccine and acquires the disease, it can cause symptoms. Generally, the child has fever of 103-105 degrees F for 5-7 days and most require medical care due to the risk for complications.
Once a child develops measles, the treatment is mainly supportive and might include the following if needed:
- Oral or intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration
- Antipyretics to control fever
- Vitamin A is given for children with certain risk factors such as malnutrition, immunodeficiency or impaired intestinal absorption
- Ribavirin is an antiviral medication that is oftentimes given for immunocompromised children and in severe cases
The other treatment options for measles are aimed on the specific complications that might arise such as seizures or pneumonia.
The measles vaccine might help in preventing the disease if administered within 72 hours of exposure to an infected person if not already immune.
If a child is suspected with measles, take the necessary precautions before bringing him/her to the doctor or emergency department to avoid exposing others. The child should wear a mask over his/her face and nose.