Measles causes a distinctive red and blotchy rash that starts on the head and then progresses to the rest of the body. A viral infection that usually resolves on it’s own after around 5-7 days, it is best treated with plenty of rest, fluids, and paracetamol or ibuprofen. While complications are uncommon, they can be life threatening. It’s imperative your baby has their MMR vaccination at 12 months, and follow up MMRV at 18 months. People who have not been vaccinated against measles face a 90 percent chance of infection if they’re exposed to the virus. Measles can cause low birth-weight, miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth in unborn babies, so if you’re pregnant and you’ve been exposed to measles, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Signs and symptoms
-Fever, cough, runny nose, cold-like symptoms.
-Two to three days after the onset of above symptoms, the distinctive red blotchy rash will appear on the head and then progress to the rest of the body.
-Secondary infections such as pneumonia and ear infection, along with vomiting and diarrhoea, can occur. -A rare but potentially fatal complication of measles is encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Seek medical help IF…
If your child is showing symptoms of measles, or if they’ve been exposed to measles, you should visit your GP. Make sure you tell the receptionist that your child may have measles when you get to your appointment, as they’ll likely want to isolate you from the other patients to prevent the spread of infection.
Go straight to the hospital IF
Your child has a rash and displays any of the following symptoms:
-memory loss and/or confusion
…and how to maintain perspective!!
While measles is very contagious, it is also quite rare in Australia, and if your child has been immunised, their chances of contracting the virus are low. If your child does receive a measles diagnosis from your GP, they will probably not require any treatment beyond bed rest, fluids, and pain relief. The majority of children who fall ill with measles make a full recovery.