Measles in children

Measles in children are not an uncommon occurrence, and nowadays, adults are becoming more and more ill. It is a contagious viral disease that produces symptoms such as a rash that spreads over time and fever or fever.

This viral infection is transmitted very easily from the diseased to the infected person by a drip. When sneezing or coughing, a sick person's droplets inhale a healthy person into the airways and become infected.

Measles are common in children because they are then more easily spread due to their lower immunity. However, once they get over it, antibodies are produced, and they cannot become ill again with every repeated exposure to the disease.

In this disease there are 4 stages, each of which is characteristic.

In the first phase, incubation occurs. There are no obvious symptoms of the disease at that initial stage.

The second phase also brings initial symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness and muscle aches. Coughs soon appear and Koplik's spots are present in the mouth.

It is only in the third stage that measles appear in the form of reddish, small spots, initially on the head, ie on the forehead and around the ears. Over time, they extend further towards the neck and body. By then, there was already a characteristic and elevated body temperature, a pronounced dry cough, fatigue and itching all over the body. Sometimes in children, measles can even bleed. After a few days, the accompanying symptoms, such as cough, fatigue and fever, calm down and the measles start to light and fade.

In the fourth stage, the measles disappears completely, but the affected skin peels off for some time.

The diagnosis can be confirmed by the doctor relatively early. It can already be safely identified in the second phase, because then Koplik's spots can be easily seen. Koplik's spots do not occur in any other disease, so in this case, it greatly facilitates diagnosis. If any of the symptoms are present, the diagnosis can be made even easier. In the penultimate, third stage of the disease, diagnosis is easiest because measles is already spread all over the body.

There is no specific treatment prescribed for the treatment of measles in children. Since it is a viral disease, the disease must be postponed. In highly hygienic conditions, the baby should be stationary and the room adjusted so as not to be exposed to strong light. The room must be ventilated regularly. Symptoms can be treated with cough syrups and fever medications.

Measles in children can be prevented by vaccination. Vaccination is carried out at an early age. The first vaccine is given after the child has reached the age of 15 months, and the second vaccination is immunized again when the child goes to school, in first grade.

Author: M.L., Photo: JPagetRFphotos / Shutterstock

Measles - Akron Children's Hospital video (January 2021)