Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10-12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7-10 days. Measles is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the cough and sneezes of infected people. It may also be spread through contact with saliva and nasal secretion.
Cause of the disease: Measles is caused by an RNA paramyxovirus. So far as it is known, there is only one serotype. The source of infection is a case of Measles.
Signs and symptoms: Mainly characterized by – Fever, coryza with nasal discharge. Redness of eyes, lacrimation and often photophobia. There may be vomiting and diarrhoea. Presence of Koplik’s spots on the internal buccal mucosa . These small white spots surrounded by erythema are pathognomonic of measles. Later there is presence of a typical, dusky-red, macular or maculo-papular rash which begins the ears and spreads rapidly in a few hours over the face and neck, and extends down the body taking 2-3 days to progress to the lower extremities.The rash nfades in the same orderof appearance leaving abrownish discoloration which may persists for two months or more.
Complication: The most common complications are: measles-associated diarrhoea, pneumonia and other respiratory complications and otitis media. Pneumonia is the most common life-threatening complication.The more serious are neurological complications which includes febrile convulsions, encephalitis and sub-acute sclerosing pan encephalitis.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis of Measles is based on the typical rash and Koplik’s spots seen in oral mucosa. The diagnosis would normally be incorrect in any febrile condition which red eyes and cough are absent. In developed countries, where measles is uncommon, specific IgM antibodies are being used.
Homoeopathic treatment: Homoeopathic medicines are very effective in treating measles. Some of them are:
ACONITE: Useful at the beginning stages of measles, these children have a high fever, a dry barking cough, red conjunctiva. The skin burns and itches, and they feel restless.
BELLADONNA: This remedy is often useful at the beginning stages of the measles when there is sudden onset of fever, reddenend face and throbbing headache.
BRYONIA: In these cases the skin eruptions from the measles are delayed. The children have a hard, dry cough and no expectoration. Any motion causes pain.
SULPHUR: The itching is < by scratching. They have reddened mucous membrane and great thirst.