Measles is a dangerous and rapidly spreading disease. If the disease is not recognized and treated early, it can cause dangerous complications. Worryingly, measles often appears in children. Therefore, parents need to know the signs of measles in children to detect early and limit problems affecting the baby’s health.
Measles is a viral disease that can spread rapidly into an epidemic. Measles in children progresses rapidly and can cause many dangerous, life-threatening complications if not recognized and treated early.
What is measles?
Measles is an infectious disease caused by the measles virus, which is spread through the air. This is a virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, weak endurance, easily destroyed by common disinfectants or sunlight, temperatures from 56 degrees Celsius or more. The measles virus has two antigens:
- Hemagglutinin antigen (agglutination of red blood cells).
- Hemolysin antigen (hemolysis).
When the virus enters the body, it stimulates the production of antibodies. Antibodies appear 2 to 3 days after the rash appears and persist for a long time. In our country, measles usually occurs in the cold season, winter – spring and is common in young children. However, measles outbreaks can occur at any time of the year.
Signs of measles in children
Common signs of measles in adults and children are fever, rash, upper respiratory tract infection, conjunctivitis. Measles usually progresses through the following stages:
- Incubation period: About 10-12 days, the patient has no symptoms, but on the 9th – 10th day, a mild fever appears.
- Initiation phase: Lasts 4-5 days. This is the time when measles is most contagious. Common signs such as fatigue, headache, fever, muscle aches, sneezing, runny nose, hoarseness, cough with phlegm or diarrhea, …
- Rash stage: Measles spots begin to appear behind the ears and then spread to the cheeks, neck, chest and arms and spread to the back and legs over time. Measles is initially pale pink and then gradually turns red.
- Recovery period: The measles rash gradually disappears leaving dark spots and patches on the skin.
Is measles in children contagious?
Measles is a disease caused by a virus that lives in the mucus of the nose and throat and can be spread from person to person by sneezing, coughing, etc. pandemic.
In addition, the measles virus can survive in the air and on surfaces in the air for about 2 hours. Therefore, when children touch objects with virus-causing viruses and put their hands on their mouth and nose, they inadvertently introduce the virus into the body. Children are at a very high risk of infection and the condition can become more serious because:
- Children with weak immune systems.
- Children who have not been vaccinated against measles.
- Children under 12 months.
- Mother contracted measles during pregnancy.
Serious complications of measles
Measles is a benign disease, but if not recognized and treated early, it can cause the following dangerous complications:
- Bronchitis and acute otitis media are the most common complications.
- Severe pneumonia: Including symptoms of high fever, auscultation of the lungs with rales, infection.
- Encephalitis: Central nervous system complications can be fatal and have many serious consequences. Manifestations include high fever, convulsions, nocturnal enuresis, impaired consciousness even coma.
- Digestive complications: Inflammation of the oral mucosa, bad breath. Enteritis with severe diarrhea.
- Corneal ulcers are dangerous eye complications that can lead to permanent blindness.
- Malnutrition after measles.
How to prevent your child from getting measles?
To protect children from unwanted complications from measles, prevention is the best measure to protect children’s health, parents need to:
- Vaccination: Vaccination for children is the most effective and safest way to prevent measles. The first dose of the vaccine should be given when the child is 9 months old, until the child is 18 months old, the second dose. Alternatively, it can be given later without affecting the effectiveness of the vaccine.
- Clean personal hygiene: Wash children thoroughly every day, wash their hands often with antibacterial soap, limit children’s hands from touching their eyes, nose and mouth. In addition, it is necessary to clean the mouth, nose and throat daily with physiological saline solution.
- Keep the environment clean: In addition to keeping the house clean, it is necessary to regularly clean the items in the house and disinfect the baby’s toys.
- Isolation of sick children: When children have measles, they must be isolated from healthy children to limit the risk of infection.
How to care for a child with measles?
If parents can care for and treat their children at home, they should adhere to the following:
- Isolate children with measles from other children.
- Children with fever above 38.5 degrees Celsius must take fever-reducing medicine as prescribed by the doctor.
- When taking care of children, it is necessary to wear a mask, and after each contact with children, wash hands with soap.
- Wash and clean your baby every day.
- Keeping the house clean, ensuring ventilation and hygiene at all times.
- If the child is still breastfed, give them more milk to increase resistance.
- Prepare soft, easy-to-digest food that suits your baby’s taste.
When should a child with measles be taken to the hospital?
If not treated early, measles can cause many serious complications affecting the health of children. Therefore, if the following symptoms appear, the mother should take the baby to the hospital immediately:
- Children with high fever that does not go down (39 – 40°C);
- Shortness of breath;
- Children are tired, anorexia, diarrhea, do not want to play;
- Rashes all over the body but no signs of fever.
It can be seen that measles has many potential complications if not treated promptly. Therefore, parents need to know the signs of measles in their children to conduct isolation and early treatment. The best way to prevent the risk of measles and minimize complications is that parents should fully vaccinate their children.
Note: The information in the article is for reference only, please contact your doctor, pharmacist or medical professional for specific advice.