Patient, usually a child, suffers from fever, catarrh of the ocular, nasal and respiratory mucous membrance and van eruption of minute, elevated papules on the fourth day of fever. It may be MEASLES.
After an incubation period of ten to twelve days, the symptoms start developing. At the commencement of t6he incubation there is a trasnsient febrile catarrh and a fleeting rash. During the first four days there is development of a rash. Usually on the late third day or on the fourth day, catarrhal symptoms like sneezing , conjunctival inflammation, with a short dry cough, inflamed tonsils and koplik spots appear on the buccal mucosa around and in front of the parotid spots appear on the buccal mucosa around and in front of the parotid duct.
At this stage, we are reminded of aconitum napellus, allium cepa, euphrasia officinalis and gelsemium sempervirens. These remedies, when given at the right time often abort the whole condition. But for some reason, if they do not, then they vat least reduce the vintensity of the infection.
SYMPTOMS OF MEASLES
Measles signs and symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms of measles typically include:
- Dry cough
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik's spots
- A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another
The infection occurs in a sequence of stages during a period of two to three weeks.
- Infection and incubation. For the first 10 to 14 days after you're infected, the measles virus incubates. You have no signs or symptoms of measles during this time.
- Nonspecific signs and symptoms. Measles typically begins with a mild to moderate fever, often accompanied by a persistent cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis) and sore throat. This relatively mild illness may last two or three days.
Acute illness and rash. The rash consists of small red spots, some of which are slightly raised. Spots and bumps in tight clusters give the skin a splotchy red appearance. The face breaks out first.
Over the next few days, the rash spreads down the arms and trunk, then over the thighs, lower legs and feet. At the same time, the fever rises sharply, often as high as 104 to 105.8 F (40 to 41 C). The measles rash gradually recedes, fading first from the face and last from the thighs and feet.
- Communicable period. A person with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.
CAUSES OF MEASLES
Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus that replicates in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult. Then, when someone with measles coughs, sneezes or talks, infected droplets spray into the air, where other people can inhale them.
The infected droplets may also land on a surface, where they remain active and contagious for several hours. You can contract the virus by putting your fingers in your mouth or nose or rubbing your eyes after touching the infected surface.
About 90% of susceptible people who are exposed to someone with the virus will be infected.
RISK FACTORS OF MEASLES
Risk factors for measles include:
- Being unvaccinated. If you haven't received the vaccine for measles, you're much more likely to develop the disease.
- Traveling internationally. If you travel to developing countries, where measles is more common, you're at higher risk of catching the disease.
- Having a vitamin A deficiency. If you don't have enough vitamin A in your diet, you're more likely to have more-severe symptoms and complications.
COMPLICATION OF MEASLES
Complications of measles may include:
- Ear infection. One of the most common complications of measles is a bacterial ear infection.
- Bronchitis, laryngitis or croup. Measles may lead to inflammation of your voice box (larynx) or inflammation of the inner walls that line the main air passageways of your lungs (bronchial tubes).
- Pneumonia. Pneumonia is a common complication of measles. People with compromised immune systems can develop an especially dangerous variety of pneumonia that is sometimes fatal.
- Encephalitis. About 1 in 1,000 people with measles develops a complication called encephalitis. Encephalitis may occur right after measles, or it might not occur until months later.
- Pregnancy problems. If you're pregnant, you need to take special care to avoid measles because the disease can cause preterm labor, low birth weight and maternal death.
PREVENTION OF MEASLES
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children and adults receive the measles vaccine to prevent measles.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF MEASLES
- Bryonia alba is the first remedy that comes to mind when the rash is developing very slowly or suddenly starts receding. Or when the rash has not fully developed. Cough is dry and there is scraping of the throat; in fact, it represents the correct picture of measles. Chill with external coldness, hot head and red face, worse in a warm room. Easy profuse perspiration. Pulse is full and hard, tense and quick.
- Gelsemium sempervirens has early morning sneezing and streaming cold. These are strong indication of gelsemium sempervirens . There is excessive weakness and trembling; the characteristic headache begins in the occiput and then spreads over the whole head.
- Pulsatilla nigricans has a feverish hot body but the temperature is normal. It is used as a prophylactic for measles. Chilliness without thirst and worse by warmth, are the characteristic symptom of this drug. Ear troubles, which is a common sequalae and complication of measles correspomnds to pulsatilla nigricans.
- Morbillinum a nosode, characterizes an attack of measles. It has fever, nasal and eye catarrah, nasal voice, rough cough, diffused bronchial cough, followed by macular eruptions.
- As a prophylasctic, it is given to those who are likely to get exposed to infection and it is given in 30C, twice or thrice daily. Belladonna given in 30C appears to heighten the effect. Only these two remedies can carry through the whole attack of the infection.