What Every Parent Should Know About Measles – Expert
This season of the year has an unpredictable and unstable weather, it can be cold at night and by mid-day it becomes very hot and humid hence causing different reactions on the body especially on the children making them suffer different ailments one of which is measles.
Dr. Uma Amadi, a pediatrician with Asokoro General Hospital said measles is a vaccine preventable infection in children and it’s also one of the major causes of death in young children between the ages of 1-5 especially in developing countries like Nigeria even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.
She said “Measles is very common in children who have not been vaccinated, which is why every child needs to be vaccinated. In countries like Nigeria and other countries in the tropics, there are peak periods when there is a lot of infection occurring usually between October and March when the weather is dry and hot”.
The virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours.
Symptoms can be a high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts 4 to 7 days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks which develops in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for 5 to 6 days, and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus.
According to the doctor, measles is deadly and highly contagious, it can become very severe if not treated early enough and most measles-related deaths are caused by complications associated with the disease. So a quick action is needed the moment you notice your child has measles to avoid complications.