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Measles in children: symptoms and treatment
Measles in children: symptoms and treatment

Video: Measles in children: symptoms and treatment

Video: Measles, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment. 2022, December

Measles is an acute viral infection accompanied by characteristic symptoms (high pyrexia, sore throat, exanthema, signs of intoxication, inflammatory lesions of the respiratory mucosa). The disease is contagious, transmitted from a carrier of infection to a healthy person. The danger of the disease in the development of serious complications that appear against the background of a weakened immune system. Measles is often found in children; it can only be recovered once in a lifetime.

Consider the symptoms of the disease and its treatment, the necessary methods of prevention, and also give a photo of a typical picture of measles and a video about what Dr. Komarovsky will advise us in this situation.

What it is?

Measles is an acute viral infection. It is one of the most contagious airborne diseases. Infection occurs in 99% of cases after contact with the vector. The disease has a peculiarity - it can be ill only 1 time in a lifetime. After infection and successful treatment, the body develops a certain immunity against the virus.

But neglected forms and weak immunity leads to irreparable consequences. The disease greatly depresses the child's immune system, and even after recovery, the child's body remains weakened for another 4-5 months.

The highest death rate from measles in developed countries in Asia and Africa (20% of child deaths). In Russia, fortunately, it is possible to avoid massive infections thanks to the ongoing vaccination.

Children from 1 to 6 years old must be vaccinated against measles, rubella and mumps. If an infection occurs, vaccinated children are more likely to tolerate the disease and their risk of complications is low.

How does measles get infected?

The source of infection is always the infected patient. It becomes dangerous to others from the very first day of infection. The most dangerous patient becomes for others during the appearance of a specific exanthema on the skin. Children with vitamin A deficiency are at high risk of infection, therefore, it is prescribed for the first 2 days of pathology treatment. If a woman has had measles during pregnancy, the newborn becomes immune to the disease in the first 6 months of life, but over time it disappears.

Measles is a seasonal disease and peaks between October and April. It is easy to get infected in crowded places. Children contract measles in preschool through a chain reaction. Cases of infection through third persons are extremely rare, the virus in the external environment quickly collapses and dies.

Infection occurs in 99% of cases of contact with the vector. Situations were recorded when the virus spread through stairwells and ventilation shafts. Secondary infection is possible, but in rare cases. This is possible with immune deficiency.

What does measles look like in children: photos of rashes

Measles in a child is manifested by a specific sign of a rash on the skin. This usually occurs early in the second week after contact with an infected patient. The disease proceeds with pronounced symptoms of intoxication, which greatly undermines the child's condition.

The disease, as a rule, affects the child's body, but in adults without vaccination, measles can also develop, but in this case there is a severe course and the risk of complications is too high.

Photos of rashes of typical and atypical forms of measles.

Measles exanthema is very similar to rubella, and many people mistake one disease for another.

The photo shows the differences in rashes, while in boys and girls, the skin in the intimate area may be affected, which causes severe discomfort for children.

Incubation period

The measles virus enters the body of a healthy person through the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, and from there into the blood plasma. Then it is transported to the spleen and lymph nodes. This mechanism lasts the entire incubation period. Its duration is from 7 to 17 days. After this time, the virus re-enters the bloodstream and disperses throughout the body, causing severe intoxication. The infection affects the skin, nasopharyngeal mucosa, conjunctiva, intestines and central nervous system.

What are the symptoms at the onset of the disease

Measles is a long-term disease that proceeds in several stages; in children, first of all, symptoms of a runny nose, cough, and hyperthermia appear. Recovery and treatment is long-term, therefore, parents need to take appropriate preventive measures in the autumn-winter period.

The catarrhal period of measles in children (3-5 days) is manifested by the following symptoms:

  1. Hyperthermia. An increase in temperature indicates the body's reaction to the penetration of the virus. Children may experience hyperthermia up to 39 degrees.
  2. Psychomotor agitation. Small children begin to be capricious, without a reason to cry, get annoyed with everything that happens around. This is a sign of a virus in the central nervous system.
  3. Runny nose. The virus damages the walls of the capillaries from where the fluid flows. During this period, the mucous membrane of the nose begins to produce special proteins that protect the mucous membrane from being damaged by the virus. If the infection has reached the nasopharyngeal mucosa, the child feels itching, sore throat, sneezing.
  4. Cough. This is a symptom of inflammation of the pharynx. Cough is loud, barking, dry. The child has a hoarse voice. The infection can further spread to the vocal cords, thereby causing swelling and spasm of the larynx.
  5. Conjunctivitis. The virus infects the mucous membrane of the eye. The inner lining of the eyes becomes inflamed, fluid flows out through the walls of the affected vessels. This is a favorable environment for the multiplication of various viruses and bacteria that provoke conjunctivitis.
  6. Swelling of the face. First of all, the virus enters the lymph nodes, develops inflammation in them. The cervical lymph nodes are primarily inflamed, congestion is noted in them, all this is accompanied by swelling.
  7. Enanthema. Already for 2-3 days, red spots with a diameter of 0.5 cm appear on the mucous membrane of the palate. After another 2 days, the throat becomes red, the spots merge.
  8. Spots of Velsky-Filatov-Koplik. Whitish spots appear on the inside of the cheeks, which are tightly fixed and surrounded by a white edging. In appearance, they resemble semolina.
  9. Pain in the abdomen. The child loses appetite, he complains of abdominal pain. The stool becomes more frequent, it becomes liquid. Sometimes all this is accompanied by nausea, turning into vomiting. This process is caused by the defeat of the measles virus in the intestinal mucosa.

The next stage of measles in children is accompanied by symptoms of a skin rash. At this stage of recovery, it is too early to wait and treatment is complemented by the elimination of itching. Timely prevention can weaken the course of the disease (the presented photo of measles will help to recognize it) in boys and girls.

Exanthema appears on the 3-4th day of the onset of pathology. The first spots appear on the face, behind the ears, gradually spreading to the neck and upper body.

The day after the first rash appears, the spots cover the entire body, including the fingers and toes. Spotty-papular exanthema. The spots look like irregular pink nodules. They rise slightly above the skin. Papules with an even surface, around which red spots are located. They are rapidly increasing in size, merging with each other into one large spot.

New appearances of exanthema are accompanied by a runny nose, cough, high fever.On the fourth day of the appearance of a skin rash, the child's condition improves, he is no longer considered dangerous to others.

The next stage of measles in children is convalescence (pigmentation), its symptoms are manifested on the skin by pigmentation of red spots in light brown, peeling at the site of the lesion of the skin area. Recovering is already close and treatment gives a greater result (in the photo you can see that measles is very different from rubella).

After the appearance of scales in the lesions on the skin, the child's temperature stabilizes, the cough weakens, and the sore throat disappears. The body is gradually freed from the virus. But parents need to remember that measles in children greatly depresses the immune system, symptoms still remain and treatment continues until complete recovery.

And then the child needs prevention of respiratory infections, since the body is highly susceptible to re-infection.

The photo shows the skin of a child who has had measles.

Complications of measles in children

Weakened immunity is exposed to various negative influences from outside. A viral infection can be complicated by the addition of a bacterial, as a result of which pneumonia of a bacterial nature is often diagnosed in children.

Possible complications include:

  • otitis;
  • stomatitis;
  • laryngitis;
  • bronchopneumonia;
  • tracheobronchitis;
  • encephalitis;
  • inflammation of the lymph nodes;
  • polyneuritis;
  • loss of vision;
  • serious violation of the central nervous system.

Measles in children often causes complications, the symptoms are supplemented by other signs of the onset of the disease, and the treatment in this case will be laborious and time-consuming. Compliance with all the prescriptions of the pediatrician and timely prevention will help to avoid the development of other diseases and consequences. Photo of a child infected with the measles virus.


Often, measles is diagnosed only after the first rashes on the skin appear, but if the first case of the disease has already been recorded in preschool or educational institutions, then other children should carefully monitor their health and, at the first manifestations, contact a pediatrician or infectious disease doctor.

Diagnostics is based on a number of procedures and tests. The main goal is not to confuse measles with erythema, rubella or scarlet fever. The doctor listens to the patient's complaints, identifies symptoms, prescribes diagnostics and develops a treatment plan.

The patient is assigned the following diagnostic procedures:

  1. General blood analysis. The level of lymphocytes, leukocytes, eosinophils and ESR is determined.
  2. Linked immunosorbent assay. The sensitivity of antibodies to the measles virus is revealed.
  3. General urine analysis. With measles, an admixture of protein and a high white blood cell count will be found in the urine.

If the measles virus is complicated by the addition of a bacterial infection, the child is assigned an X-ray, which confirms or refutes the appearance of lesions on the lungs.

How is measles treated?

Measles is usually treated at home. The pediatrician comes home and monitors the course of the disease. All necessary medications are prescribed only by a doctor, self-medication is unacceptable, it can be fatal.

Hospitalization is required in such situations:

  • the development of complications;
  • severe intoxication of the body.

There are no special drugs aimed at eliminating the measles virus, but the patient is prescribed complex treatment aimed at weakening the symptoms and preventing the addition of a bacterial infection.

Watch a video about what Dr. Komarovsky says and advises:

It is difficult to determine measles in children, because the symptoms are very similar to other infectious diseases, such as rubella, scarlet fever or erythema. The diagnosis is made by the pediatrician on the basis of examination and test results, only then the patient is prescribed treatment.

If cases of measles have already been recorded in preschool institutions, other children are recommended to undergo prevention, and in mass cases of measles, the institution is quarantined.

From our article, parents learned about the symptoms of the disease and got acquainted with the photo by which they can recognize the disease. Timely prevention and quality treatment will help to avoid serious complications, so take care of your children and enrich their diet with vitamins. Be healthy!

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