Measles, a highly contagious childhood disease caused by a viral virus, is an extremely dangerous disease.
The virus may spread from person to person easily, and in some cases it can even be passed on through body fluids such as saliva. When very common, measles is usually prevented by a simple vaccination. However, because of very high vaccination rates around the world, measles has not been prevalent in the U.S. for more than 10 years.
Because measles often attacks children and infants under the age of one, many parents are worried that their child might be infected. They begin to experience nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills within the first days of illness. If the child is infected with measles, he or she will likely be hospitalized and treated for dehydration, and pneumonia. In some cases, the child will recover, but in others, the measles virus will attack the brain or cause permanent brain damage. There are no vaccines to prevent measles in adults.
When you notice any of the measles symptoms described above, you should seek immediate medical attention from your physician. You may need to have an anti-measles antibody test administered to confirm if the measles has actually been contracted. If you do develop the disease, your doctor will probably recommend that you get vaccinated immediately. If the child is fully recovered and the symptoms subside within the first week, you can begin to take your child back home. On the other hand, if your child develops severe measles symptoms, you should get him or her into the hospital for medical care.
Measles Symptoms In Adults There are similar symptoms that are experienced in children, but they tend to be more severe in adults. The body’s immune system becomes overactive, and your body produces antibodies to fight off the disease.
If a child contracts measles, there is a risk that these antibodies will attack healthy cells in the body and lead to secondary infections. Symptoms include a white-yellow rash in the mouth and nose. These rashes may turn into sores and become painful.
Adult children are more at risk of contracting measles than children. Adults are more likely to be exposed to the virus through direct contact with another person infected with the virus. Some adults who develop measles will experience an illness that is nearly identical to children, but with much less serious symptoms. One of the most common symptoms in adults is pain behind the ear. or around the face or neck. Many adults will experience muscle aches, headache, and fatigue, but no other serious complications, although these symptoms are rare.
Other Measles Symptoms Although most children experience some fever, vomiting, and sore throat, the adult may experience more serious symptoms that will include loss of consciousness, seizures, breathing problems, or convulsions, and coma. It is important to get an appointment with your doctor if your child experiences these types of symptoms. Your doctor will want to make sure that the rash or any other skin rash on the body is not a sign of measles or other diseases that could have been contracted in conjunction with the measles.
Since there is no vaccine to prevent measles in adults, children with weak immune systems are at a greater risk. Most people do not show any symptoms. A weakened immune system is one of the main reasons why children can contract measles, but adults with this problem are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.
It is important to keep your children safe and to always see your doctor when you suspect that your child may have contracted measles. or other diseases caused by the measles. The earlier the symptoms are detected the better the chances are of the disease being treated and the child being saved from any potential complications.