Question: What is the causative agent measles?
Answer: Measles is an acute viral disease caused by RNA virus 1 stereotype, genus Morbillivirus in paramyxovirus family.
Measles is a highly infectious disease common amongst children. It usually occurs during the winter season. Red-spots appear for a brief period and then assume an epidemic form.
Virus is the main cause of this contagious disease. It is easily transmitted through droplets of moisture discharged from patient’s nose or mouth when he sneezes or coughs. Unhygienic living conditions and wrong feeding habits promote it further.
- It is a highly infectious disease and is very common in children who have not been vaccinated against measles. Children living in unhygienic conditions may be at risk of getting measles.
- It is a self limiting disease.
- The only natural hosts are humans and primates.
- Transmission of measles: It is transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets discharged from sneezing or coughing by the patient.
- Incubation period is generally from 8 to 12 days from exposure to onset of symptoms.
- Patients become contagious from 1 to 2 days before the onset of symptoms to 4 days after the appearance of rash.
Signs And Symptoms Of Measles
Common symptoms of measles include:
- A child is suspected of having measles if he develops fever, dry cough, watering of eyes and running nose after coming in contact with a case of measles and he has not received the measles vaccine.
- Watering of the eyes, dry cough, fever and cold appear during first 7 to 14 days after exposure to virus.
- Koplick spot: They appear after 3 to 4 days. Koplick spot are white spot like grain of salt on inner side the cheek near the first and second upper molar teeth.
- Rashes appear 3 to 5 days after onset of the symptoms. Small round spots with reddened skin appear on the neck and sides of the face initially, and then spread all over the body. The rashes become darker with time.
- After the rash fades, the skin may tend to peel off.
- Fever goes up to 104 degree F and remains for 3 days after the rashes appear.
- Ill looking child with loss of appetite.
- Measles is usually accompanied with diarrhea.
Complications of measles: Ear infections, pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections and rarely encephalitis.
Natural Home Remedies To Cure Measles
For symptomatic treatment for cough homemade syrup of 2 parts of honey, one part of lime juice and basil juice is helpful.
- Fever can be controlled by sponging with water. Rest is necessary.
- Keep the patient in a room with good ventilation and subdued light.
- Lemon and orange juice should be given to him frequently.
- Warm water enema should be administered regularly.
- Apply abdominal mudpacks twice a day.
- A lukewarm water bath with extract of mango leaves eases itching.
- The patient should be kept on all fruit-diet till the condition improves.
- Turmeric has proved to be beneficial for treating measles. Mix turmeric powder with honey and juice of bitter gourd leaves and give it to the patient.
- Eggplant seeds help to develop immunity against measles for about a year. Intake of about one gram of these seeds for 3 days will be beneficial.
- Barley water helps in soothing cough in measles. It can be taken frequently with sweet almond oil.
- Liquorice helps to relieve cough in measles. Powdered liquorice should be given along with honey.
Consult your doctor for any complications.