measles

Infectious viral infection classified as a children’s disease. The incubation period is one to two weeks. The first signs of measles are general malaise, high fever, cold in the nose, inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis) and a dry irritable cough. There are often white patches on the mucous membrane on the inside of the cheek (Koplik’s spots). This is the most infectious stage. After three days the temperature drops, and rough round or oval red patches appear behind the ears and on the rest of the body; they run together after one or two days. The child feels very unwell; the irritable cough is tiring, and the inflamed eyes are sensitive to light. Measles is usually harmless in the developed countries, but there can be complications such as accompanying infections: pneumonia, otitis and encephalitis (with serious consequences). There is no specific treatment for measles. Drugs to reduce fever and soothe a cough are useful, and the child should stay in bed. A shady room is recommended for the sensitive eyes. Since the introduction of immunization against measles, the disease is becoming rarer or much milder in form.

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