Measles Disease: Sign, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Definition of Measles Disease:
An acute highly infectious disease of childhood caused by a specific virus of the group myxoviruses which is clinically characterized by fever and catarrhal symptoms of the upper respiratory tract (coryza, cough) followed by a typical rash.
Measles is a highly infectious disease of childhood caused by measles virus. It is characterized by fever, catarrhal symptoms of the upper respiratory tract followed by typical rash.
Epidemiological Features of Measles Disease:
1. Occurrence: The disease is endemic in all parts of the world.
2. Ecological triad:
Agent: RNA paramyxovirus
- Age: It is mainly a disease of child hood between 6 months – 3 years.
- Sex: Both sexes are affected
- Nutrition: Very severe in malnourished children
- Immunity: one attack of measles gives immunity for life.
Incidence is in higher in spring and winter Incidence is higher in densely populated urban areas.
4. Natural history:
- Source of infection: A case of measles.
- Infective material: Nasopharyngeal secretion. Lacrimal secretion, urine of infected person.
- Infectious period: Maximum infectious period is 7 days.
- Mode of transmission:
- Direct contact (90%),
- Droplet spread,
- Rarely air borne,
- Incubation period: 1-2 weeks, usually 11 days (average).
Clinical Features or Sign and Symptoms of Measles Disease:
1. Prodromal (catarrhal) or pre-emptive stage: (Starts after 10 days of infection and lasts 3 to 5 days).
- Nasal discharge,
- Brasy cough,
- Redness of eyes,
- Often photophobia.
2. Eruptive or Exanthematous stage: (3 -5 days after the onset of the disease).
- Maculopapular rash,
- Cervical lympadenopathy may present,
- There is fine shedding of superficial skin of face, trunk and limbs, leaving brownish discoloration which may persist for 2 months or more.
3. Convalescent or post-measles stage:
- It is the period of disappearance of constitutional symptom, fever and rash.
- But usually the child remains sick for number of days and lost weight.
Diagnosis of Measles Disease:
It is primarily clinical, needing no investigations.
- The leukocyte count is low but slowly rises to normal as the rash fades.
- In case of superadded bacterial infections, a sharp leukocytosis often occurs.
- Measles-specific IgM antibody persists for 30-60 days following the rash.
- ELISA and hemagglutination inhibition are the most sensitive for detecting measles antibodies which if increased 4 times, are diagnostic of measles.
Treatment of Measles Disease:
It includes the following:
- Bed rest,
- Isolation for 1 week after appearance of rash,
- Analgesic and antipyretic,
- Care of eye,
- Oral hygiene is maintained,
- Maintenance of fluid and nutrition,
- Vitamin A capsule on 1, 2nd and 7th day,
- Antibiotic to prevent secondary bacterial infection.
More questions related to this article:
- Define measles.
- What do you mean by measles?
- What is measles?
- Write down the epidemiological features of measles.
- Write down the clinical features of measles.
- How will you treat measles?
- Write down the management of measles.
- How will you diagnosed a case of measles?
- Write down the diagnosis of measles.
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”