Measles is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus. The disease is quite serious and often difficult to tolerate. Having found the symptoms of measles in children, parents should know how to treat and alleviate the child’s condition.
What you will find in this article:
What is this disease
Infectious disease - measles - is characterized by a very high temperature, severe intoxication and a characteristic rash. A measles person is a carrier of the virus, even during the incubation period. The risk of infection from an infected person is almost 100%.
You can get measles only once. Having suffered a disease, a person remains immune for life.
How do children take measles? Although measles is considered a dangerous, serious disease, in more cases, children tolerate it in a mild form, without serious consequences. Measles benefit children up to the age of 10, but as an adult you can face this ailment. Adults suffer measles worse and harder, often there are complications.
Measles is a vaccine that is put in childhood. Even if the child gets sick after the vaccination, it will transfer the virus much easier.
How is measles spread?
The virus spreads through airborne droplets through contact with the infected. This is a very contagious disease, and there are times when the virus is transmitted even through ventilation passages to neighbors.
The virus “passes” into the body through the respiratory tract, mucous membranes of the throat, eyes, saliva, coughing and sneezing. You should know that the virus dies from sunlight. "He lives" only 2-3 hours, so a good airing of the room where the sick child was, is very important.
The diagnosis of measles is an external examination. Blood is also taken, urine is analyzed and a chest is taken in order to see possible complications in time.
Stages of measles development
Only people are affected by measles. Adults, like children, can become carriers of infection and become infected from each other.
The course of the disease can be divided into four phases. Each phase has its own typical symptoms.
- 1st stage - incubation period
- 2nd stage - catarrhal
- 3rd - period of rash
- 4th - the period of pigmentation
The incubation period lasts from one to three weeks. It begins after the measles virus enters the body and ends with the onset of primary symptoms.
A measles patient remains infectious for several days — these are the last two days of the incubation period and four days after the characteristic rash.
What does measles look like in children
The duration of the catarrhal period is 3-4 days. Children endure this stage of the disease most severely. The initial stage of developing measles is similar in symptoms to a cold.
The first signs are:
- Temperatures above normal (up to 39 degrees)
- Decreased activity, loss of appetite
- Capriciousness, lethargy
- Sleep anxiety
- Child complains of headache
- Sneezing, dry cough, nasal discharge
- The voice becomes husky
- Swelling of the eyelids, increasing tearing
- The child has photophobia
- Lymph nodes are enlarged.
- Large red spots appear on the palate
- In severe cases, the child has a stomach ache, diarrhea and vomiting begins, children may lose consciousness and experience short-term cramps.
On the second day of the catarrhal period, dots of a gray-white shade appear on the mucous surface of the mouth. The presence of such points allows detecting measles at the earliest stage and isolating the sick child in time.
Period of rash
The duration of this stage is 3-4 days. The previous symptoms are replaced by a specific rash, which is called measles rash.
How is measles rash:
At about 4-5 days of infection, a typical measles-like rash appears on the body of the child, which has a light pink hue. The rash is noticeable initially on the face, on the forehead, behind the ears, then on the neck and manifests itself all over the child’s body.
Rash stains can reach a size of 10 mm. Rashes can connect, making up large spots of incomprehensible outline. After three days of abundant rash, the child's temperature rises again (up to 40 degrees).
Lasts a period of one to two weeks.
On the fourth day of the rash, the baby’s skin becomes pigmented; they have a bluish tint first and then turn brown. Pigmentation appears, like a rash, first from the face, and then on the entire body. After a while, the spots peel off and later disappear completely, the skin becomes clean.
How to treat measles in children
There is no specific treatment for measles today. The virus the body is fighting on its own. Helping a child is possible only with symptomatic treatment - relieving the symptoms of the infection and keeping the mucous membranes clean.
If the child suffers measles without complications, then it can be treated at home. In case of complications or in case of severe disease, urgent hospitalization is necessary.
Home treatment for measles:
- Compliance with bed rest
- The use of large amounts of fluids (up to 2 liters of water per day)
- Frequent, split meals
- Rinse eyes with warm, boiled water.
- Nose should be cleaned with cotton buds soaked in heated vaseline oil
- Dry lips need to smear moisturizing
- Mouth, throat, you can rinse with a weak soda solution (for a cup of water 1 tsp. Soda)
- Antipyretic drugs
- Medication for sore throat; drops from a cold, conjunctivitis
- For dry cough, expectorant drugs are prescribed.
- Antiviral drugs
- Vitamin complex to maintain the body
- Antibiotics are prescribed when, against the background of measles, the child fell ill with another infection (pneumonia, bronchitis)
During therapy, it is important to carry out wet cleaning and ventilate the room where the sick person is located. Do not let in the room too bright light, so as not to aggravate tearing and do not harm the eyes of the child.
The famous doctor Komarovsky devoted many lectures and articles to the topic of measles in children and its treatment. In his opinion, the best protection against the disease is a vaccine against measles.
The most reliable prevention is vaccination. When are children immunized against measles?
The measles vaccine is given to children per year and at 6 years of age. The doctor can make monovaccine or trivaccine (rubella, measles, mumps). Vaccination gives a person immunity, which has been active for about 15 years. In adulthood, it is also possible to get vaccinated.
Measles vaccination is prohibited when:
- acute infections
- blood pathologies
- Heart disease
- spicy jade
After vaccination on the 6th-20th day of a child, the following effects are possible, which pass in 2-3 days:
- Elevated temperature
- Small rashes on the body
- Runny nose
Is the baby contaminated after vaccination?
Symptoms that are noticeable in children at 6-20 days after vaccination are similar to signs of measles. But the baby is not contagious. If a vaccinated child has measles, it is possible for some reason that immunity has not been developed. Vaccinated children usually tolerate the disease easily.
Many parents are also interested in the question, is it possible to bathe a child after a measles vaccine? There is an opinion that a child cannot be bathed for two days after vaccination. Some experts support this idea. But most pediatricians allow water treatments. After vaccination is necessary to monitor the condition of the child. If he is active, vigorous and feels good, then there are no "water" restrictions.
For prophylactic purposes, healthy children should be immediately separated from the diseased. Parents are required to report to the kindergarten or school where the child is studying about the presence of infection.
If an unvaccinated child under 4 years of age was in contact with a sick child, then an emergency vaccination is given to him - an immunoglobulin is injected. Such a measure will be effective only if you vaccinate within five days after contact with the infected.
Reviews of vaccination against measles are different. Many parents do not agree to vaccination. In this case, they should know how dangerous measles is in children.
Atypical forms of the disease
Mitigated measles This type of infection occurs in children after administration of immunoglobulin. Then the incubation period lasts 21 days, and all other stages are faster. The catarrhal period is easily tolerated, the temperature changes slightly. The rash persists for two days, has a dull color and much less rash. The pigmentation period is much shorter.
Abortive measles . The catarrhal period lasts two days. The rash is only visible on the face.
Blurred form of the disease. Catarrhal period is almost not expressed. No rash.
Measles in children at an early age
If the expectant mother has had measles before the pregnancy or has been vaccinated, then the child is born with temporary immunity and cannot get sick with this disease until 5 months.
Otherwise, measles in a month-old baby and older may be, but usually passes in a lightweight form. In early childhood, atypical measles is more common.
The signs of measles in a one-year-old child are the same as in older children. With atypical measles, the catarrhal stage may not occur.
Complications of measles
Difficult consequences after measles are more often encountered when the wrong treatment is chosen or parents self-medicate. Possible complications:
- Blurred vision
- Inflamed lymph nodes
- CNS defeat
Measles in children is a fairly common disease. When you detect the first symptoms of the disease, you need to contact the pediatrician and isolate the child in order to avoid the spread of infection.