Measles

sick girl is measuring the temperature

Measles are a disease that is usually caused by a virus. It is less commonly known as Rubeola and is very apparent because individuals suffering from this condition will usually have a rash all over their body. It is also a very contagious condition and can be transmitted through coughing or sharing food and beverages with someone who has the measles.

Many individuals who have contracted measles will usually recover by getting lots of rest. However, in more complex cases, individuals may contract more serious illnesses such as pneumonia. Therefore, if you exhibit symptoms of the measles, it is very important to visit a health care professional.

Causes

Measles are caused when a person catches the measles virus. It is a highly contagious virus, meaning that it can be spread easily by an infected person. In fact, all it may take is for the individual to cough or sneeze. The virus manifests in the mucus of an infected individual. When you have contracted the virus it will tend to spread throughout your body. When the virus has spread to the skin, the individual will usually display a serious rash.  Usually by the time an infected individual starts to display rashes, the virus has already become contagious. Medical professionals believe that this virus is the most contagious four days before and after the rash appears.

The virus is highly contagious to any individual other than those who have received a measles vaccination. However, it is more unlikely for an individual to catch the virus if they have already had it recently. This is because the body builds up a tolerance to the virus.

Signs

Although the signs and symptoms of measles will tend to progress with the virus, some of the earlier symptoms include a high fever, sneezing, sore throat and a runny nose. Some individuals even experience diarrhea and sore eyes. When the virus progresses and spreads to the skin, infected individuals will notice a rash all over their body. However, individuals usually won’t begin to exhibit a rash until almost one week after they have started to experience a high fever. The rash usually starts behind an individual’s ears before spreading to the rest of the body. Many patients have also reported an itching sensation when the rash begins to appear. It will usually start off as a lighter shade of pink before darkening and then disappearing.

However, the symptoms usually do not show up immediately. If you have been exposed to an individual that has the measles virus, the symptoms may not appear for almost two weeks afterwards.

Cures

Most individuals who catch this virus will recover on their own and will only require lots of rest and the consumption of liquids to stay hydrated.  However, it is still important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have caught the virus because it has the potential to progress to a more serious illness such as pneumonia. There have also been reports of the measles progressing to bronchitis and ear infections.

Depending on the severity of the illness, doctors will sometimes prescribe antibiotics to flush the virus out of the system. However, other common treatments include acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help treat some of the symptoms that may cause discomfort to the patient. These are mainly prescribed to lower the patient’s fever and not to actually cure the occurrence of the measles. Most patients tend to see the symptoms disappear within two weeks. However, if a fever or rash persists for longer than this timeframe, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.