A Detailed Guide to Measles: Symptoms, Risk & Treatment

Long before the first measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, there were 4 million registered cases of measles. As many as 50,000 people were hospitalized and 500 failed to survive. What’s more unfortunate was that most deaths were of children under the age of 18 years old.

While, the introduction of vaccination has lessened the intensity of the problem to a great extent, the chances of outbreak still remain. The recent outbreak in the state of Washington, Ohio and New York should tell us exactly that. In fact, New York state legislators were so distressed with the situation that vaccination was made obligatory for all citizens. If a New Yorker failed to submit an official documented vaccine record, he/she would be fined up to $1000.

All that being said, you should greatly be concerned about the measles problem. The condition, although treatable, may have associated health complications.
This article will look to explore a few things that everyone should keep in mind about the disease.

What is it like to have measles? Is it deadly?

Let us first answer the second part of the question. Yes, measles can certainly be deadly putting at risk the lives of hundreds of children who are more likely to be the targets.

The initial symptoms may lead the person to confuse them with some common illness. Usually, measles would start off with a person experiencing fever, cough followed by a loss in appetite. Once the initial stage is over, red spotty rashes start appearing on the skin. They will first be visible on the hairline area moving all the way down through the neck to other parts of the body.

At times, these rashes may tend to fade away on their own, sometimes they don’t. The situation then becomes further complicated resulting in complications like pneumonia. Pneumonia accounts for most measles-related deaths among both children and adults. In less frequent instances, measles may also lead to blindness, mouth ulcers and a severe type of ear infection. However, the chances of infliction generally remain yet should nonetheless be sidelined.

Who is at risk?

From the above discussion, you might reasonably infer that children are at a greater risk than adults. That certainly holds to be true as the infliction rate is higher for minors. On the other hand, you should also know that people who are unvaccinated are more prone to measles. Additionally, this also means that people with an overall weak immune system stand at a considerable chance of being inflicted.

Since it’s an airborne disease and highly contagious, an affected patient can infect up to 12 people at the same time. The virus particles may be transported through coughing or sneezing eventually entering the body of a non-infected person.

How is it treated?

Unfortunately, there is no one exact medication for treating measles. Your doctor may prescribe you a range of antibiotics and antivirals that will control the associated symptoms of the condition. For example, it is common for medical professionals to recommend a course of ibuprofen. The drug helps to bring the fever down, one related complication resulting from measles.

Moreover, your doctor will suggest you make amendments in your diet and general lifestyle. Which entails including sources of Vitamin A (eggs, liver oil) so that the depleted amount reaches a normal level. It is also recommended for the patient to stay indoors to avoid other people around him/her to get the disease.

Last and not the least, it is important to note that there is no substitute for the measles vaccine. That is to say, the benefits yielded may save you from all the misery of suffering from the condition.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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