Measles also called rubeola or morbilli is a contagious disease that can spread easily. It is caused by a virus called rubeola virus and it is believed to occur among children but it can also affect teenagers and adult above 20 years. This is because of its contagious properties.
Measles has early symptoms that show up within 7 to 10 days of infection. The symptoms are always outstanding, the most popular symptom of measles is of skin rashes. As a contagious disease, it spreads easily and makes it the role of everybody to put a fight against it because if one has a close contact with an infected person, or unfortunately he or she sneezes or coughs and the infected mucus drops on the person, then such persons are likely to contact measles at that point.
Infected persons should always practice safety habit like covering their nose or mouth while sneezing or coughing to help their nearby partner. Although measles is very dominant in the community, most people with strong immunity usually develop resistance to the infectious virus.
Because of these devastating effects, vaccines have been provided that help in fighting measles. So far, the vaccines have offered a positive result on those that suffer from this type of viral infection although these vaccines are limited to pregnant women.
It is true that measles can lead to death among children if not treated earlier. In 2015, 73,400 measles deaths were recorded and in 2016, it increased to 89,780 cases. Generally, up to 2,600,000 (two million, six hundred thousand) dead cases of measles are recorded yearly for those that are not opportune to take the retroviral vaccines. This is to show how deadly measles is and why we should take serious and active steps to prevent it whenever we notice it in any close person.
Types of Measles
There are basically two types of measles which are;
- Rubeola : This is the type of measles that mostly affects people, it is caused by the rubeola virus.
- German Measles or Rubella: This type of measles is rare and it is caused by the rubella virus.
Early Symptoms of Measles
- Development of rashes on the body
- Runny nose
- Conjunctivitis – inflammation of the eye
Later Symptoms of Measles
- Dry hacking cough
- The eye of the infected person is usually watery
- Photophobia – you begin to sense to light intensity
- General itches on the body
- Development of some grey and white spots in the mouth, cheeks and throat.
- The eyelids of the patient begin to swell
- Fever up to 40oC (forty degree celcius) or 104.0 F (one hundred and four fahrenheit)
Effects of Measles and Complications
- Inflammation can lead to eye defects
- Frequent vomiting
- It leads to difficulty in breathing
- Measles causes respiratory tract infection example bronchitis and laryngitis
- Measles results in hepatitis
- Squint – Defect that occurs on the eye nerves and muscles
- Encephalitis – This is a serious effect of measles, it is an inflammation of the brain
- It can lead to loss of hearing
- Thrombocytopenia- This is the loss of platelet tissues caused by measles which does not allow the patient blood to clot easily leading to bruises and ulcerated wounds
- Neuritis- This is the damage of the nerves that connects the eye which can lead to loss of sight
Factors That Triggers the Risk of Measles
- Immune System: People with weak immune system faces a high risk of measles.
- STDs: people with STDs such as HIV/AIDs and leukemia also face a higher risk of contracting measles.
- Vitamin Deficiency: Lack of vitamin C and Vitamin A in the body also triggers the risk of measles.
Measles During Pregnancy
A pregnant woman that suffers from measles can be highly affected. It can result in miscarriages or early delivery. In order for the pregnancy not to be affected, a pregnant woman that has measles or a woman who is planning to get pregnant should consult a doctor for medical advice since it is advisable for pregnant women to avoid taking the retroviral vaccines that is used for prevention
Medical Ways of Treating Measles
- Use of homeopathic medicines
- Use of tylenol, mobillinium and ibuprofen for treating fever
- Use of respiratory relief medicines
- Use of antivirals such as RIBAVIRIN
Five (5) Natural Ways of Treating Measles
Fruits: Each and every fruit has its preventive abilities for every form of infections and I love using fruits because they are easily available. Especially fruits that contains vitamin C and Vitamin A because Vitamin C helps to prevent respiratory infections while vitamin A is very good for the eye. It can help to prevent eye loss and damage of the optic nerves that is caused by measles. Fruits like apple, orange, pawpaw, carrots etc. should be taken in large doses.
Use of Barley: Add two table spoons of barley in water until a full mix is attained and drink three times daily. Barley contains antioxidants as well as Vitamin C and zinc which helps in quick healing and may also stimulate the production of platelet cells.
White Willow: The bark of white willow is another good natural remedy for treating measles symptoms in adults. It contains salicin which can be substituted to aspirin.
Turmeric: This is another natural remedy for treating a lot of infectious diseases. Mixing turmeric powder with milk and drinking 3 times daily will help to prevent the effects of measles in the body. Turmeric is best known for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties which helps to stimulate the immune system.
Lacorice: The root of licorice plant mixed with honey is a good relieve for cough and should be taken in a little dosage and not in excess. Licorice has antiviral properties that helps in preventing viral infections.
Other Preventive Ways of Measles
- Take fruits rich in Vitamin C
- Drink healthy liquid substances regularly such as orange and lemon juice, tea
- Keep the eye away from direct intense of light
- Take respiratory tract aids such as TomTom, cool mist etc
- Avoid smoking
- Make use of humidifiers like placing a bowl of water in the room to keep it moist.