Measles in Babies

Measles is one such disease which usually occurs to every person once in his or her lifetime, and is usually occurred when we are babies. It leads to severe rashes on the body which further causes viral cold as well as fever. It is highly contagious. Moreover, if not proper care is given, this viral infection can be fatal.  However, as this disease has no specific cure, but there are a few measures which you could do as a parent for your baby. Continue reading to know how your baby could contract this illness, remedial measures and much more.

What Causes Measles In Babies?

Measles is known to be a viral disease caused by Rubeola virus.  This virus spreads through the air, thereby, making the disease highly transmittable. When someone who contracted this virus sneezes or coughs, the virus gets spurt into the air. The virus in a cough or sneeze droplets can stay active for a few hours in the air, or on a surface. Once your baby happens to get in touch with these droplets, he or she could catch measles. This can happen even by coming into contact with infected person. Your baby could contract measles if he or she happens to share a room with a person infected by this virus or happens to be in the room even, up to 2 hours after that person is gone. That is why it is said that do not take babies to public places, especially malls and auditoriums until their immunity level is better.

What Are The Symptoms Of Measles In Babies?

Measles might start showing off its symptoms right before and usually before even causing any kind of rashes on the baby’s body. The disease starts to kick in with signs of a common cold, a runny nose, and sore throat. Followed by this, there could be other symptoms too and if your infant has an unsettling cough with a runny nose, you should actually start taking more care.

Another symptom is Conjunctivitis in which there is an infection that causes pain and redness in the eye and even causes some fever in the baby. After some time of the symptoms, the infant develops rashes which soon convert into rashes with reddish brown color. And these continue to become noticeable near the forehead as well as arms, legs, torso, and feet also.

After that, the fever would be rising again and that too a lot, and sometimes goes from 40 0 C – 41 0 C, which is considered as the peak.

How Is Measles In Infants Diagnosed?

Doctors have their own way of treating such conditions, and usually, do it by a visual inspection of the condition of the person. Also, the doctor conducts a blood test to check if the measles virus is present and acts as a confirmation for the doctor.

How Is Measles Treated?

Measles may be called incurable, however, there are a few ways for its treatment, like:

  • Immunization:

If the baby is over one year old is diagnosed with measles, MMR vaccine is administrated within 72 hours.  If your baby is under 12 months, IG (immunoglobulin) injection is given, this injection is even safe for children under 6 month as well.

  • Analgesic Medication

Pain relief medication like paracetamol will help to relieve the fever and pain accompanied by measles. However, always give this medicines only after the advice from the child’s doctor.

  • Antibiotics

Depending on the severity, sometimes doctor suggest a course of antibiotics to shield the baby from further infections and complications

  • Vitamin Supplements

It is very important to increase the immunity of the baby to combat any type of infection. Do you know the inadequate intake of vitamin A is one of the risk factors to contract measles? Therefore, vitamin supplements will be suggested by the doctor as part of the measles treatment.

What Are The Complications Of Measles In Babies?

Measles is a disease which you need to take care of to be away from your infant. Some of the complications which it causes are:

  • Pneumonia: It is the most commonly occurring complication in an infant with measles and the virus adds to a fatal risk of pneumonia in babies with less immunity.
  • Bronchitis: It is an infection caused by bacteria which is caused in the lungs’ bronchiole tubes and the baby will feel pain while breathing.
  • Upper Respiratory Infections: These infections always include the larynx as well as the trachea and cause breathing problems also.
  • Encephalitis: Even though quite rare (1/1000), Encephalitis alas swelling of the brain is another most critical complication of measles in babies. It can often lead to seizures and even coma.

Can You Prevent Measles Through Vaccination?

It is found that nine out of 10 unvaccinated babies who get exposed to the measles virus will catch it.  Therefore, the simple answer to I this question is- Yes, you can prevent measles through vaccination. An excellent means to safeguard your baby from measles is to obtain the measles-mumps-rubella shot (known as the MMR shot). It is suggested that all children get the MMR shot. It is a great single handed prevention measure not only for measles but also for rubella and mumps.

When Should My Baby Get The Measles Vaccine?

This special MMR vaccine is always just limited to a baby who is at least 12 months of age, in short, at least a year old. While the doctor provides the vaccine for the first time around 12-15 months of age, the second time, the vaccine is provided when the baby is about 4-6 years of age. Both doses are important for preventing measles.

Can A Baby Get Measles Even After Vaccination?

Almost no case of such things happens and experts believe the same. The vaccination imparts immunity equal to 90% and the next doses impart about 99% measles immunity. Still, no vaccine makes sure that everything is gone. As Vaccination is complete, the babies who catch measles again will stay immune the next time and are unlikely any risk of spreading the disease.

How Can Parents Help Prevent Measles In Babies?

Drinking Breast milk: Most of the times, if the mother has ever had measles ever in her life, the disease might not be passed to the baby because of the automatic passage of the immunity naturally to the baby via her milk and thus, the baby obtains the antibodies in the breast milk, which is highly effective as it imparts a shield that fights measles in the baby.

Avoid risky situations: One must always make sure that Measles get spread in a crowded environment especially in the spring and winter season. At this time, you should be more cautious and keep your baby in a better place.

Maintain hygiene: The virus of the measles can be on any kind of surface for about 2-3 hours and infects the humans or babies that come in contact near them. So, you should always make sure that everything is kept clean and hygienic.