The Measles is one of the five classics of childhood exanthems (others are Chickenpox (varicella), rubella, Erythema infectiosum (Fifth disease) and roseola). The disease is a viral infection (caused by the Paramyxoviridae virus), highly infectious and contagious – spread by respiratory secretions such as sneezing and coughing, 85% of people exposed to the virus contract the disease and 95% develop the disease.
Measles is characterized by a particular skin rash and the immune status (measles, usually, only appears once during the life).
The measles in the period between exposure and onset of symptoms is 8 to 15 days. The disease is most contagious during the first 3 to 5 days, whose initial symptoms are high fever (can reach 40,5ºC), hoarse and persistent cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis and photophobia (difficulty in looking at the light).
In the next stage appear, usually on the mucosa of the mouth, a signal which is pathognomonic (medical term that refers to a sign / symptom characteristic of the disease) measles – the Koplik’s spots: White spots (1 to 2 mm), identical to a grain of salt surrounded by a red circle which disappear within 24 to 48 hours. The rash or exanthema (skin impairment characterized by reddish rash) is usually extensive and takes 1 to 2 days to cover the whole body, disappearing after about 4 days.
Some patients have complications such as digestive disorders (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis. The most serious and rare complication (1 in 1000 patients) and that requires more medical care is encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Treatment of the symptoms
The Chinese Medicine advises acupuncture practices. Alternative medicines – Chinese Medicine and Phytotherapy (Herbal medicine) – indicate preparations of some plants to enhance and restore the patient’s health:
The infusion of chamomile is incessantly recommended for cases of anxiety. Echinacea is traditionally prescribed to fight infection and strengthen the immune system. The shiitake mushroom also strengthens the immune system system. The ginger infusion acts as antipyretic and herbal tea of lemon balm, chamomile, peppermint and elderflower. The bathing witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) flower reduce the itching caused by exanthems / rashes.
The patient should be involved in an atmosphere which provides him the rapid improvement for such, the air should be frequently moistened to facilitate cough. The infected person will need to ingest various liquids, especially in the phase which is feverish, to prevent dehydration and promote the removal of toxins. Allow the patient to rest and relax (prolonged period in which should not attend school or work) in shaded or dark places because of the sensitivity to light (photophobia). The food should be nutritious and balanced. The accompanied by a health care professional is essential.
The disease is prevented by administering vaccines.
KRAPP, K. [et al.]. Manual de medicinas complementares. Barcelona; Loures; Porto: Oceano: Crerital: Nova Variante, . [VIII], Original title: The gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine
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