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Measles Child : Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Complication and Treatment

Thursday, July 26th 2012. | Skin, Hair and Nails


Measles Child Definition

Measles is a highly infectious disease, spread throughout the world. It is characterized by a very characteristic rash.

The majority of children who have not been vaccinated before age 10 are affected by the disease.

An initial measles infection provides lifelong immunity against this infection. Contrary to what many people think, measles is not a harmless childhood disease. Many children still die from complications of the disease.

Severe forms of measles (measles toxic) primarily affect immunocompromised individuals. Approximately 10-20% of adults die from the consequences of the disease.

Measles Child Symptoms

The risk of infection is already present during the incubation time (period from contamination until the onset of symptoms), which lasts about ten to twelve days. There are two stages of the disease: prodromal (precursor stage with flu symptoms) and exanthematous stage (with red rash). The second stage is usually accompanied by high fever.

Prodromal symptoms:

  • Nonspecific symptoms at the nasopharyngeal region (cold, sore throat, hoarseness, dry cough).
  • Conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes, sensitivity to light).
  • Small white spots (called Koplik’s spots) are formed on the buccal mucosa

Exanthematous stage symptoms:

  • Red rash at the beginning as a point, then as spots. Eruptions start behind the ears and the neck and then, they are gradually spreading throughout the body, to the feet. Eruptions last about five days and then the skin becomes scaly.
  • Fevers up to 41 °.
  • Swollen lymph ganglia at the throat, accompanied by sore throat.

Specific forms of measles :

  • Abortive eruption of measles: the symptoms are less pronounced. This form can occur in vaccinated children, who despite vaccination have not developed adequate defenses against measles.
  • Measles lightning: it is very rare and is characterized by a very sudden onset of symptoms of measles, which are accompanied by high fever, convulsions and bleeding of the skin and mucosa. It primarily affects people whose immune system is weakened (AIDS patients). This form can be fatal.
Measles virus on Child

Measles Child (img : thanks to sharecare.com)

Measles Child Diagnosis

Children with the clinical picture described above should in all cases be subject to medical treatment.

  • History taking into account the patient’s symptoms. Specific symptoms: rash characteristics.
  • If the diagnosis is uncertain: demonstration of antibodies against measles virus in the blood.
  • There is also a reduced number of white blood cells (leukocytes).

Measles Child Treatment Options

Measles Child General measures Treatment

  • The child must be isolated from other children because it is impossible to know how each child reacts to the disease.
  • Complete bed rest.
  • In cases of conjunctivitis, keep the patient in the dark.
  • Increase fluid intake, especially in case of fever.
  • The cold wrap the calf can help reduce fever.
  • Meals easy to digest.
  • The cough syrups and teas promote thinning mucus (do not administer medicines containing codeine).
  • Keep mucous membranes moist by suspending damp sheets, especially in the bedroom.
  • After the fall of fever and disappearance of the rash, the child should still rest at home for one to two weeks.

Measles Child Medical Drugs Treatment

  • There is no medicine against the measles virus, only the symptoms can be treated.
  • Antipyretic drugs (to reduce fever), in the form of tablets or suppositories.
  • Until the fourth day after infection, the disease can be mitigated or even prevented by administration of antibodies (immunoglobulins).
  • If coughing, medications or cough syrups can be useful.

Measles Child Possible Complications

Most cases of measles recover without complications. However, in infants and immunocompromised children, complications can occur:

  • Pneumonia (whose signs are dyspnea and respiratory distress).
  • Otitis media (ear pain).
  • Meningitis (severe headache, vomiting or altered consciousness and convulsions: emergency medical).
  • Severe inflammation of the cornea of the eye (can cause blindness).

Bloody rashes, bleeding of mucous membranes and a persistent high fever are emergencies that require immediate medical care.

Appendicitis is another complication that can be triggered by measles. It requires surgery.

Measles Child Preventive Measures

An initial measles infection provides lifelong immunity against this infection. Children can be vaccinated against measles from 12-15 months.


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