Symptoms and Treatment of Measles
Before the advent of the measles vaccine, this contagious virus that impacts children was a serious threat to public safety. While cases of the measles have dramatically decreased since then, there has been a small uptick in cases lately, making it important that you know how to spot the symptoms and can receive proper treatment if your child becomes infected. ID Care specializes in the treatment of measles and several other infectious diseases, so you can be confident that your child will be receiving the best care possible.
Measles is a virus that is transferred through infected droplets from coughs or sneezes that remain highly contagious for a long time after being transmitted. This means that anyone can come into contact with the measles virus without being near someone who has been infected if the droplets are still lingering on something the infected person has touched. If your child has become infected with the measles, they will experience symptoms such as:
- Koplik’s spots: These spots are characterized by a blue-white center on a red background and can be found on the inner lining of the cheeks.
- Skin rash: The rash associated with the measles is made up of large blotches that will run into each other.
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
These symptoms will start to emerge about a week and a half after a person has come in contact with the measles virus. The first symptoms to appear will mimic the flu, with a cough, runny nose, and possible fever. After a few days, the rash and Koplik’s spots will develop.
The easiest way to diagnose a patient with measles is by spotting the distinct rash and Koplik’s spots caused by the virus. However, the rash can be confused with other illnesses. Cases of the measles are rare in the United States, so your doctor may want to take an extra step to confirm that what your child is actually experiencing the measles. In that case, the physician will conduct a blood test to check for the presence of the virus.
There are not broad measles treatments that are applied in every case. Rather, our team of physicians will take into account your child’s unique situation and develop a treatment plan that will be the most effective. Some common methods used to treat the measles include:
- Antibiotics: While antibiotics do not affect viruses, they combat common bacterial infections such as pneumonia and ear infections that often develop along with the measles.
- Fever Reducers: Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be given to reduce the intensity of fevers. Make sure that your child does not take aspirin, as a rare condition called Reye’s syndrome may develop.
- Post-Exposure Vaccination: If your child has been exposed to the measles in the last 72 hours, administering the measles vaccine can help protect them against the virus if they have not already been immunized.
Detailed Measles Care
The staff at ID Care is specifically prepared to deliver comprehensive infectious disease care that will provide personalized measles treatment for every patient. If you suspect that your child has been exposed to the measles virus, visit one of our nine care facilities throughout Northern and Central New Jersey.