09 March 2010


Memandangkan the other day Ziqri kena measles... Let me share with you some infos abt measles. Betol ke baby below 1 yr blh kena measles? Apa tu measles? Teruk ke? Kalo kena kat baby, apa nak buat?

What is Measles?
Measles, also called rubeola, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that's caused by a virus. It causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms, including a fever, cough, and runny nose.

Since measles is caused by a virus, there is no specific medical treatment and the virus has to run its course. But a child who is sick should be sure to receive plenty of fluids and rest, and be kept from spreading the infection to others.

Signs and Symptoms
While measles is probably best known for the full-body rash it causes, the first symptoms of the infection are usually a hacking cough, runny nose, high fever, and red eyes. A characteristic marker of measles are Koplik's spots, small red spots with blue-white centers that appear inside the mouth.

The measles rash typically has a red or reddish brown blotchy appearance, and first usually shows up on the forehead, then spreads downward over the face, neck, and body, then down to the arms and feet.

Is Measles Contagious?
Measles is highly contagious — 90% of people who haven't been vaccinated for measles will get it if they live in the same household as an infected person. Measles is spread when someone comes in direct contact with infected droplets or when someone with measles sneezes or coughs and spreads virus droplets through the air. A person with measles is contagious from 1 to 2 days before symptoms start until about 4 days after the rash appears.

The most important thing you can do to protect kids from measles is to have them vaccinated according to the schedule prescribed by your doctor.

Infants are generally protected from measles for 6 months after birth due to immunity passed on from their mothers.

For most kids, the measles vaccine is part of the measles-mumps-rubella immunizations (MMR) or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella immunization (MMRV) given at 12 to 15 months of age and again at 4 to 6 years of age.

Measles vaccine is not usually given to infants younger than 12 months old. But if there's a measles outbreak, the vaccine may be given when a child is 6-11 months old, followed by the usual MMR immunization at 12-15 months and 4-6 years.

As with all immunization schedules, there are important exceptions and special circumstances. Your child's doctor should have the most current information regarding recommendations about the measles immunization. Measles vaccine should not be given to pregnant women or to kids with untreated tuberculosis, leukemia or other cancers, or people whose immune systems are suppressed for any reason.

Also, the vaccine shouldn't be given to kids who have a history of severe allergic reaction to gelatin or to the antibiotic neomycin, as they are at risk for serious reactions to the vaccine.

During a measles outbreak, people who have not been immunized (especially those at risk of serious infection, such as pregnant women, infants, or kids with weakened immune systems) can be protected from measles infection with an injection of measles antibodies called immune globulin if it's given within 6 days of exposure. These antibodies can either prevent measles or make symptoms less severe. The measles vaccine also may offer some protection if given within 72 hours of measles exposure.

Vaccine Side Effects
Measles vaccine occasionally causes side effects in kids who don't have underlying health problems. The most common reactions are fever between 6-12 days after vaccination (in about 5%-15% of kids getting the vaccine) and a measles-like rash, which isn't contagious and fades on its own (in about about 5% of vaccinated kids).

There is no specific medical treatment for measles. To help manage symptoms, which usually last for about 2 weeks, give your child plenty of fluids and encourage extra rest. If fever is making your child uncomfortable, you may want to give a non-aspirin fever medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Remember, you should never give aspirin to a child who has a viral illness since the use of aspirin in such cases has been associated with the development of Reye syndrome.

Kids with measles should be closely monitored. In some cases, measles can lead to other complications, such as otitis media, croup, diarrhea, pneumonia, and encephalitis (a serious brain infection), which may require antibiotics or hospitalization.

In developing countries, vitamin A has been found to decrease complications and death associated with measles infections. In the U.S., vitamin A supplementation should be considered for children between 6 months and 2 years who are hospitalized with measles and its complications. Also, all kids older than 6 months with risk factors, such as vitamin A deficiency, weakened immune system, or malnutrition may benefit from vitamin A supplementation.

When to Call the Doctor
Call the doctor immediately if you suspect that your child has measles. Also, it's important to get medical care following measles exposure, especially if your child:
*is an infant
*is taking medicines that suppress the immune system
*has tuberculosis, cancer, or a disease that affects the immune system

Remember that measles, a once common childhood disease, is preventable through routine childhood immunization.

Source: Kidshealth

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