What is pediatric measles
Pediatric measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family that affects the skin and respiratory tract. It is easily transmitted through direct contact and through the air. Generally, measles vaccine controlled the widespread spread of measles, and brought hope to the prevention and treatment of measles in children. Children’s resistance and immunity are relatively low, so the probability of measles in children is higher.
Symptoms of measles in children
- Incubation period: The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus.
- Prodromal period: Generally about 3-4 days before rash erupts, the child will develop symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection such as runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes and a gray-white dots inside the cheeks.
- Rash period: Over about 3 days, the rash will start to erupt on the face and upper neck. The rash begins as a sparse and irregular red maculopapular rash. The skin between the rashes is normal. Generally, the rash will last for about 5 to 6 days and then fades.
- Recovery period : About 3 to 4 days after the rash occurs in children, the rash begins to subside, and the order of resolution is the same as that at the time of the rash. There will be an improvement to the symptoms such as appetite will be improved.
Pediatric measles treatment
- Isolation : The children need to be isolated because Measles is a highly contagious and serious disease.
- Supportive : The complications can be reduced through supportive care by ensuring good nutrition, adequate fluid intake and treatment of dehydration and antipyretic to reduce the high temperature.
- Antibiotics: To treat secondary infections such as eye and ear infections and pneumonia.
- Vitamin A: Two doses of Vitamin A supplements, given 24 hours apart to reduce the risk of severe complications.
Prevention of Paediatric Measles
Measles vaccination is a safe, effective and inexpensive prevention to reduce the global pandemic of measles deaths. The vaccine is incorporated with rubella and/or mumps vaccine. In our Malaysian Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI); it is given at 1 year of age. A second booster dose is given at standard one (6-7years of age)
Is the child measles infected?
It is transmitted through coughing and sneezing, direct contact or close personal contact with the infected persons. The virus remains highly contiguous in the air or on an infected surface for up to 2 hours. It can be transmitted easily form the infected person 4 days before the rash starts to erupt.