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MEASLES

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Causes and Symptoms: Measles also is an infantile disorder like chicken-pox. The more tender the years the better is the patient able to bear the discomfort attendant upon measles. There is an old adage which says that the earlier one has love or measles in his life, the better able he is to weather the storm which the two afflictions bring. An attack of measles (if it is fully developed) generally leaves the victim immune from its virulence for the rest of his like. The second attack does come, however, if the first was mild. Like smallpox and chicken-pox it is also a contagious disorder and the sufferer should be segregated at the first sign of trouble.

In the beginning of the attack, there is acute catarrh of the nose; sneezing follows with a watery discharge and there may also be some bleeding from the nose. The temperature of the body goes upto 104o F. and there is headache, thirst, restlessness, dry cough and hoarseness of voice. The fever goes back on the third day and the rash characteristic of measles appears on the fourth. It is first noticed on the forehead, cheeks, chin, behind the ears and also on the neck. It consists of small spots of dusky red or crimson colour, slightly elevated above the surface of the skin. The face is swollen and bloated. The rash is present in the mouth and throat at times. It starts receding after three to four days and a light peeling of the skin is noticed during convalescence. The fever starts going down with the coming of the rash and when the eruption appears fully, the fever recedes.



Measles is not a fatal disease unless of course, the bronchi or the lungs have become affected. The first thing when the rash is noticed is to clothe the child in warm clothes; hot water and other hot liquids should be given to the patient to help the rash to appear. A few raisins should be given to the child to eat and powdered liquorice with honey should be given to relieve the cough typical of measles. A powder of equal parts of tamarind seeds and turmeric should be given in 5 to 6 grain doses thrice daily.

Remedies: The remedies mentioned at the end of the section dealing with typhoid should be given to help the rash to disappear quickly. The most important precaution to be taken in a case of measles is to see that the fever is not suppressed. Its suppression is likely to lead to a fresh attack of he malady which will be more severe. The patient should be given a normal diet depending on his powers of digestion and he should lie in a soft bed in a darkened room to save his eyes from strain.

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