measles in children

First signs and treatment of measles

Measles – a widespread acute infectious disease that occurs mainly in children and characterized by fever, catarrh of the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and throat and the appearance of the skin blotchy rash.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases known to date. For this infection is characterized by almost 100% sensitivity – that is, if a person previously without a history of measles and vaccinated, will be in contact with a patient with measles – likely to get extremely high. That is why it is important to strict deadlines vaccination and conducting anti-epidemic measures in the outbreak of infection.

Cause of the disease

Mode of transmission airborne. The virus is released into the environment with droplets of saliva during a conversation, during coughing, sneezing. Despite the instability to the effects of the environment are known cases of the virus with the current air ventilation system of the building. The source of infection – patients with measles, which is contagious to others with the last 2 days incubation period before the 4th day of the rash. On the 5th day the patient is considered to be non-contagious rash. After the disease had recovered persists lifelong immunity. Babies born from mothers undergoing measles remain impervious to the disease to 3 months, as during this period are stored in their blood protective maternal antibodies. Persons without a history of measles and not vaccinated against it, are highly susceptible to measles throughout life and can develop at any age.

Symptoms of measles

The incubation period, ie, time from infection to onset of symptoms, lasts from 7 to 14 days. It is important to remember that the disease does not begin with the onset of the rash, but with cold symptoms: temperature 38-40 degrees, severe weakness, loss of appetite, dry cough, runny nose. Later appears conjunctivitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye). Approximately 24 days after the first symptoms of the disease in the mucosa of the cheek (in front of the molars) there are small whitish lesions. On 3-5 day of disease appears rash as bright spots which tend to merge with each other. At first she found behind the ears and on the forehead, then spreads rapidly below the face, neck, body and limbs. Small pink spots rash rapidly increase in size, become irregular in shape, sometimes merge. In the period of maximum precipitation, 2-3 days after the onset of the rash, the temperature can rise again to 40.5 °. The rash lasts 4-7 days. At the site of the spots remain pockets of brown pigmentation, after 2 weeks the skin is clean.


Complications are more common in children under the age of five or adults over 20 years. The most common are inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media), blindness, pneumonia, inflammation of the glands of the neck, laryngitis, encephalitis. Unfortunately, measles complications are not uncommon, so treatment of the disease should be under medical supervision, local doctor visits the patient every few days.

At the slightest suspicion on the development of measles should immediately consult a doctor. This is important not only for the early diagnosis and initiation of treatment, but also for the adoption of control measures in the team, which visited the sick.

In typical cases of measles diagnosis is not difficult. The local doctor diagnoses at home on the clinical picture of the disease and prescribes treatment. Sometimes it may be necessary serological methods (detection of antibodies to measles virus in the blood serum of the patient).

Treatment of symptomatic uncomplicated measles, includes bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids, antipyretics, the proceeds from the common cold and sore throat, expectorant drugs, vitamins. In case of complications of measles further treatment is carried out in a hospital.

Prevention of measles

Reliable and effective method to prevent measles is vaccination. Vaccination against measles is, in essence, an artificial infection with the virus, but it is very weak, in which the body produces protective immunity. Some children from 6 to 20 days after vaccination may experience mild reactions in the form of rising temperatures, and sometimes the appearance of conjunctivitis and scant rash. These symptoms persist for 2-3 days, after which all goes well. Do not worry, it is quite possible and not dangerous. But just in case, in the event of any complications after vaccination sure to contact your doctor. First vaccination is carried out in children aged 12 months, the second – at the age of 6 years. Measles vaccination can be carried out monovalent or triple vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella). Effectiveness of measles vaccine is the same, regardless of which vaccine is used. Vaccination provides lasting protective effect for 15 years. Live vaccines are not given to pregnant women, patients with tuberculosis, leukemia, lymphoma, and HIV-infected.

The detection of measles carry out preventive measures in the hearth of infection ie in the team, where was a child. Children under 3 years old, pregnant women, people with TB and persons with weakened immune systems are typically administered measles immunoglobulin (passive immunization) in the first 5 days after exposure. Children older than 3 years, without a history of measles, not previously vaccinated and non-clinical contraindications, subject to emergency vaccination. The vaccine may provide a protective effect when used before exposure or within 2 days after contact with a patient with measles. Children who had contact with the disease, have not been vaccinated or had measles, impose quarantine. The first seven days after a single exposure allowed to visit children’s collective. Then, 17 days after exposure, inclusive (and for children who received a prophylaxis immunoglobulin, – up to 21 days) such insulate children. At the site of infection conduct daily routine inspection and thermometry children who have been in contact with someone who is ill. All detected patients with measles immediately isolate .