ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What are the Symptoms of Measles?

Updated on March 15, 2012

Measles are an infectious fever, occurring mostly in children, characterized by a typical skin eruption and accompanied by a catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and respiratory passages.

Measles frequently occurs in epidemic form and is most prevalent during the winter. It is a highly infectious disease, and its rapid spread is partly accounted for by the fact that infectivity is greatest in its earliest stages before the typical rash has appeared, and consequently before the specific disease can be diagnosed and timely isolation measures adopted. Measles is caused by a filterable virus.

Image is in the Public Domain
Image is in the Public Domain

Measles Symptoms

As a rule the incubation period lasts from ten to fourteen days. The onset is denoted by acute nasal catarrh, conjunctival congestion, and some degree of bronchitis. Sneezing, watery nasal discharge, redness and watering of the eyes, short and frequent coughing, hoarseness, malaise, and a rising temperature are the chief signs at this stage. On the second or third day the temperature may fall, and there may appear to be some improvement, but next day the temperature rises again and the rash erupts.

The rash, consisting of slightly raised spots tending to coalesce into crescent shaped groups, appears first on the forehead and spreads over the face and body generally within twenty-four hours. The face has a characteristically swollen, bloated appearance, while the skin of the body is mottled and blotchy. The rash is accompanied by "Koplik's spots" bluish red spots on the mucous membrane of the mouth opposite the molar teeth.

After two or three days the rash fades and by the end of a week no trace of it remains save a slight staining and a very fine "peeling." The catarrhal symptoms subside when the rash reaches its height and the temperature falls by crisis. In favorable and uncomplicated cases convalescence follows rapidly and recovery is soon complete.

A malignant form of measles may occur, but is fortunately not common.

There is intense catarrh of the respiratory and intestinal tracts associated with great prostration, and a fatal termination usually results.

Complications

Measles is particularly significant because of its complications which present both immediate and distant dangers. The immediately dangerous complication is Broncho-Pneumonia.

This is liable to occur in naturally delicate and young children, and frequently causes death. Eye and Ear Inflammations may be so severe as to lead to permanent damage to these sense organs. The inflammation of the mouth may assume a serious gangrenous form Cancrum Oris.

Persistent Gastric and Intestinal Catarrh is a not infrequent sequel. The more distant risk of measles lies in the tendency to conduce to constitutional weakness and to vulnerability to chest disorders- notably pulmonary tuberculosis.

Treatment of Measles

Put patient to bed in a warm room, with a fluid diet while there is fever. Sulphonamide treatment is indicated if complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia or middle-ear disease arise. It is most important that the bowels act freely and regularly. Plenty of water should be given. The eyes should be shaded from bright light.

Older children should not be allowed more than short periods of reading. The eyes should be bathed with a warm boracic lotion. Particular attention should be given to the cleanliness of nose, mouth and ears. A linseed and mustard poultice will often relieve the tiresome cough. Within a week, after the temperature has become normal and the catarrhal signs have ceased, the child may be allowed to get up, and in another week to go out if the weather be favorable.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • jhunpaler profile image

      jhunpaler 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      Since summer season is approaching, measles' cases might be on the rise again, thanks for this informative hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)