Measles in a child
There is a set of symptoms by which measles can be recognized in a child. This is an acute infectious viral disease that does not tolerate self-medication. The causative agent of measles is the RNA virus of the genus morbilliviruses. When it is possible to determine it at the initial stage, the treatment is easier. Measles in a child can lead to serious complications, so it is important to know the symptoms of the disease. It should not be underestimated, because there is still mortality from this ailment among children, more often up to 5 years.
It is necessary to undergo examination by a specialist and observe the prescribed treatment regimen for measles. Also, there are a number of therapeutic procedures that will need to be carried out at home.
How is measles transmitted to children and is it possible to get sick again?
Measles is transmitted by airborne droplets from a sick person. It is believed that you can get infected from the patient from the last 2 days of the incubation period to 4 days of rash. From the fifth day, after the appearance of rashes, a person is considered already non-contagious. At risk of measles are children from 2 to 5 years. Most often, the disease occurs in the period from December to May.
Newborn babies have colostral immunity to measles. Such protection of the body works until the execution of 3 months. They receive appropriate antibodies from the mother if she has had a disease in the past.
After the child has had measles, he develops a stable immunity. There are cases when a child can get sick again, but this happens extremely rarely and speaks of pathologies of the immune system. Measles can get sick in adulthood, if they have not suffered an illness earlier, and have not been vaccinated. In this case, the disease is severe and fraught with complications.
Symptoms of measles in children
Some parents think that the child has symptoms similar to measles, but this is unlikely because the child is vaccinated. It is important to know that measles can also get vaccinated, but then the disease proceeds in a milder form, unlike unvaccinated children. If the child is not vaccinated, adults, the more you need to be on the alert.
The incubation period lasts 8-14 days, less often it can be up to 17 days. Measles is characterized by an acute onset. Parents are advised to inspect the throat and mouth of the child, highlighting a flashlight.
High temperature, up to 38-40.5 degrees.
Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity. A dry cough begins, the voice becomes hoarse.
The process of inflammation extends to the upper respiratory tract. A runny nose appears, the child begins to sneeze.
Measles in children often occurs with conjunctivitis. The eyelids swell and turn red.
Red spots appear on a hard and soft sky.
From the second day of the disease, white spots with a red border appear on the mucous membrane of the cheeks. They are called Belsky-Filatov-Koplik spots. Usually they are localized closer to molars.
The body experiences general intoxication, so the child becomes lethargic, weak. He has a headache, his appetite may be gone.
On the 4th-5th day of measles, the child develops a characteristic maculopapular rash on the skin. At first, it can be seen on the face, neck and behind the ears, then it spreads to the body. 3 days after the rash appears, it moves to the extensor surfaces: elbows, under the knees, between the fingers.
From 4 days after the rash appears, the reverse course of the disease begins. The temperature drops to normal. The rash begins to become dark, then brown, peeling. Pigmentation is still observed for about 7-10 days.
The rash is small papules with a border. They tend to merge. This is the main difference from rubella. When a child has rubella, the rash will never merge, and with measles it can.
Measles in children: treatment
Unfortunately, there are no drugs for treating measles in children. The process of assistance consists of a combined scheme that facilitates the well-being of the child, as well as relieves severe symptoms.
Be sure to visit a specialist. As we said above, measles leads to complications, and there are deaths. After examination, the specialist appoints:
mucolytics, for thinning sputum;
drugs to eliminate inflammation in the airways. Most often they prefer the form of aerosols;
painkillers and antipyretics can be used. It is especially important that in the treatment of measles in a child it is NOT possible to give aspirin, and drugs with its content. According to some studies, this can trigger the development of Reye’s syndrome. Typically, pediatricians prescribe ibuprofen or paracetamol. Both drugs can be found in the form of syrup for children.
if concomitant pneumonia occurs, then appropriate treatment of this disease is also prescribed. The specialist determines the nature of pneumonia, if caused by bacteria, then antibiotic therapy is needed.
All drugs are selected according to the age of the child. The doctor determines the course of treatment, as well as the dosage of the medicine.