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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Measles


Measles: Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now be prevented with a vaccine. Signs and symptoms of measles include cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat, fever and a red, blotchy skin rash.

Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills several hundred thousand people a year, most under the age of 5.

How measles is spread: The measles virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You can easily catch measles by breathing in these droplets or, if the droplets have settled on a surface, by touching the surface and then placing your hands near your nose or mouth. The measles virus can survive on surfaces for a few hours.
 
When inside your body, the virus multiplies in the back of your throat and lungs before spreading throughout your body. People with measles are infectious from when the first symptoms develop until about four days after the rash first appears. Therefore, school or work should be avoided for at least four days from when the rash first appeared to limit the spread of infection.

The most effective way of preventing measles is to have the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

You should contact your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect that you or your child may have measles. It's best to phone before your visit as your doctor's surgery may need to make arrangements to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others. 


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

 


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