The treatment for measles consists in alleviating symptoms through rest, hydration and remedies like Paracetamol for about 10 days, which is the time duration of the disease.
This disease is most common in children and its treatment is done to control unpleasant symptoms such as fever, malaise, lack of appetite, itching, and red patches on the skin that can progress to small wounds.
Measles is a highly contagious disease through airborne saliva droplets, and the period of greatest risk of transmissibility is after the appearance of blemishes on the skin.
How long does the measles last
The duration of the measles is approximately 8 to 14 days, but in most individuals it lasts for 10 days. Four days before the first symptoms of the disease appear until their complete remission, the individual can contaminate others and so it is very important that everyone take the triple-virus vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella.
How to alleviate the measles symptoms
There is no specific treatment to eliminate the measles virus, the treatment only consists of alleviating the symptoms and should include:
1. Resting and drinking water
Getting enough rest so the body can recover and fight the virus and drink lots of water, tea or coconut water is very important for a good recovery, also helping to prevent dehydration.
2. Taking medicines
The doctor may indicate the use of medicines for fever and pain relief such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Tylenol, provided they do not contain acetylsalicylic acid in their composition, so medication such as AAS or Aspirin, for example are not indicated.
Vitamin A supplementation may be helpful for children with measles because it reduces the risk of death and is indicated in the case of a vitamin A deficiency that can be seen in a blood test or when the mortality rate due to measles is high. The dose should be taken and repeated after 24 hours and after 4 weeks.
Antibiotics are not indicated for the treatment of measles because they are not able to improve the symptoms caused by the virus, but they can be indicated if the doctor observes that there is a bacterial infection.
3. Use cold patches
Measles can cause conjunctivitis and the eyes may become reddish, very sensitive to light and producing a lot of secretions. To solve this you can clean the eyes with wet cold compresses dipped in saline solution, whenever there is secretions and the use of dark glasses can be useful even in the house.
Cold patches may also be helpful in lowering the fever and for this you should put a wet gauze with cold water on the forehead, neck or underarms to naturally lower body temperature.
4. Humidify the air
To fluidize the secretions, facilitating their removal, one can humidify the air by placing a basin with water in the room where the patient is. This care also helps to keep the larynx less irritated, relieving the throat discomfort. In case of persistent cough the doctor may prescribe cough medicines like Desloratadine, for example.
Measles is a self-limiting disease that usually does not cause complications. However, in rare cases the measles may cause:
- Bacterial infections such as pneumonia or otitis media;
- Ecchymosis or spontaneous bleeding, since the amount of platelets can decrease greatly;
- Encephalitis, a type of brain infection;
- Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, a severe complication of measles that produces brain damage.
These measles complications are more common in undernourished individuals or those with compromised immune systems.
How to avoid catching the measles
The best way to avoid getting measles is to take the Measles vaccine, which is especially indicated at 12 months, and a booster dose at 5 years of age, but it can be taken by all people who have not yet been vaccinated.
Those who took the vaccine are protected for life and do not have to worry if there is any case of measles in a nearby region. However, those who have not yet been vaccinated can be contaminated, so keep away from contaminated people and immediately take the vaccine at a health clinic.
When to go to the doctor
You should see your doctor if you develop symptoms such as:
- Fever above 40 ° C because there is a risk of seizures;
- If the person vomits because of the cough;
- Signs of dehydration such as deep eyes, very dry skin, crying without tears and little pee;
- If you can not ingest fluids;
- If other symptoms develop.
These signs may indicate that there has been a worsening of the condition, requiring a new medical evaluation because other medications may be used or hospitalized so that fluids can be introduced into the vein.
Rarely the person with measles suffers from complications but these can arise if they have a very weak immune system or if the virus reaches the brain, for example, which is not common.