Measles is a highly contagious disease typified by fever and a red rash with raised spots. Measles very often causes a cough, runny nose, lethargy and tiredness, and, depending on the areas that the virus attacks, conjunctivitis and irritation in and around the genitals. The rash usually appears on the fourth day, often starting on the neck and spreading to other areas. The rash may persist for two to four days.
In itself, measles is rarely a serious condition, although children who are immunosuppressed may find the condition fatal due to the secondary conditions and complications. Undernourished children or those with underlying immune weakness may contract bronchitis, pneumonia, otitis media and a rare form of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). It is these serious conditions that have encouraged the Western world to lay a strong emphasis on vaccination programmes.
At this time I am strongly opposed to the automatic vaccination of all children. See Vaccinations, where I discuss the measles vaccine in detail.
Diagnosis is made clinically, although blood tests may be used in more serious cases. Interestingly, because of the vaccination programme, many Gps may qualify and enter a General Practice without having seen measles. Consult Grandma!
The irritation of the rash will be soothed by applying a sodium bicarbonate solution. Add one tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to one pint of water. Iced water may be more soothing.
The homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla 6 can be given every half-hour, and in particularly irritating cases the remedy Rhus toxicodendron 6 can be given at the same frequency.
Beta-carotene (Img per foot of height given with a meal or in a child’s bottle up to three times a day) is protective of infection of mucus membranes such as in the eyes and the lungs. It should certainly be used if any symptoms of conjunctivitis, vaginitis or bronchitis are present.
Discuss the matter with a complementary medical practitioner, especially if the symptoms are severe or the child is particularly unwell.