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Measles or rubeola is a life-threatening, highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus referred to as Morbillivirus under the family paramyxovirus.

Just like most viral infections, there is no specific anti-infective for measles.  In majority of the cases, the body’s natural immune system shall be able to fight off the viral infection.  Thus, the treatment regimen would rather be limited to supportive therapy:

  • Anti-pyretics or NSAIDS may be administered to relieve fever, as well as, muscle and joint pains.
  • Avoid using aspirin.
  • Fluid therapy may also be advocated to prevent dehydration. 
  • Bed rest should be ensured so that the body can have more strength to overcome the infection.
  • Some children might develop light sensitivity. Thus, dimming the lights or closing curtains might help ease related discomfort.
  • For conjunctivitis or eye symptoms such as redness and watery discharges, a damp cotton may be used to remove the crusts forming around the eyes.
  • Vitamin A supplement may be given as some studies demonstrate this may help prevent possible complications
  • Vitamin C or some citrus fruits may help boost the immune system.
  • For severe or complicated cases, there might be a need for hospitalization.

Children are the ones primarily affected by measles.  Though most cases resolve spontaneously, in 1 out of 1,000 children, measles may cause death.  Some children might suffer from complications. One of ten children may be more likely to have an ear infection; one out of twenty might have the condition worsen into pneumonia; and around one out of 1,000 may suffer from encephalitis.  Diarrhea may also occur in 8 % of cases.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.