Measles is caused by the Rubeola Virus. It is important to maintain airborne precautions if a child is hospitalized; otherwise, isolation until 5th day of rash.
Measles usually presents within 10-20 days of contact with the virus and presents first with fever and general malaise.
After the fever, 3C’s and Koplik spots, a red rash appears starting on the face and spreading down the body towards the feet.
The three C’s include coryza [a cold], cough, and conjunctivitis. They are the prodromal or catarrhal (inflammation of mucous membranes) stage of symptoms.
Some patients present with sensitivity to light. Vitamin A supplementation and dimming bright lighting helps this symptom.
These small, irregular red spots with a minute, bluish to white center first seen on buccal mucosa are pathognomonic for measles. They are usually opposite molars and appear 2 days before rash.
There is no cure for measles and the best treatment is prevention via vaccine. This vaccine is a two part vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella. The first dose is given between the ages of 12-15 months and the second dose between ages 4-6 years old. This vaccine is usually required prior to enrollment in school.
Medications aimed at controlling high fevers are often used in the treatment of measles symptoms.
Vitamin A has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with measles.
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