Measles is an infectious viral disease that occurs most often in the late winter and spring. It begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). A rash starts on the face and upper neck, spreads down the back and trunk, then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades the same order it appeared.
Measles is highly contagious. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards. The measles virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of infected people. When they sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air and the droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours.
Cause of Measles
Measles is caused by a virus. The infection is spread by contact with droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person. For example, sneezing and coughing can put contaminated droplets into the air. Symptoms occur generally 8 to 12 days after exposed to the virus. This is called the incubation period. Persons with the measles typically have a fever, cough, redness and irritation of the eyes (conjunctivitis), and a rash that spreads. Those who have had an active measles infection or who have been vaccinated against the measles have immunity to the disease. Before widespread immunization, measles was so common during childhood that most people became sick with the disease by age 20. While the number of measles cases dropped over the last several decades to virtually none in the U.S. and Canada, rates have started to rise again recently
Symptoms of Measles
* Sore throat
* Runny nose
* Muscle pain
* Bloodshot eyes
* Tiny white spots inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)
* Photophobia (light sensitivity)
* Usually appears 3 to 5 days after the first signs of being sick
* May last 4 to 7 days
* Usually starts on the head and spreads to other areas, moving down the body
* Rash may appear as flat, discolored areas (macules) and solid, red, raised areas (papules) that later join together
Homeopathic Medicines & Treatment for Measles
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc.
Following homeopathic medicines have been found effective in many cases of Measles:
Aconite is one of the first remedies for measles; that is, while the case is presumed to be one of measles, and a hard croupy cough are present. Ferrum phosphoricum in many respects is similar to Aconite, and will take its place where restlessness and anxiety are wanting. It is somewhat questionable whether Aconite will ever be strictly indicated in any disease depending on a poisoned or infected condition of the blood, since in its pathogenesis it does not show any evidence of such condition; however, it may be indicated in the catarrhal irritation, sneezing , etc., before the case can be fully determined to be measles. In catarrhal conditions Aconite ceases to be of use after exudation has taken place, and so in measles; it would cease to be of use after it modified the fever, and the eruption appears and the disease is diagnosed as measles. Ferrum phosphoricum will perhaps be the better remedy if there be chest involvement together with the catarrhal symptoms.
Gelsemium is, on the whole, a more useful remedy in commencing measles than Aconite ; that is, it is oftener indicated; there is much chilliness, the fever is a prominent symptoms, the child is dumpish, apathetic, does not want to be disturbed ; there is watery coryza which excoriates the upper lip and nose, and there is harsh, barking, croupy cough, with chest soreness and hoarseness. Gelsemium, too, has an action on the skin and may be continued with benefit after the eruption has appeared; there is an itching and redness of the skin, and a decidely measly eruption produced by it. It has some aching in the limbs, and may be compared with Dulcamara, but seldom be mistaken for that remedy. Gelsemium has more coryza, Dulcamara more aching. Both may be useful in an undeveloped eruption ; Gelsemium when there is pain at the base of the brain , high fever and passive brain symptoms ; Dulcamara when occurring from damp, cool air, rainy weather or sudden changes. Belladonna may be indicated in measles when sore throat is present and the cerebral excitement indicating that remedy, together with moisture and heat; but it corresponds more closely to scarlet fever.
When the catarrhal symptoms greatly predominate Euphrasia may be used. Acrid tears stream out of the eyes, with a red and swollen conjunctiva. The cough is dry and very hoarse, and there is an intense throbbing headache which is relieved on the appearance of the eruption. The excoriating discharge from the eyes will distinguish from Allium cepa. The photophobia of Euphrasia is worse in artificial light , and a brightness of the eyes despite the catarrhal condition is characteristic.
A little later in the disease Pulsatilla symptoms may make their appearance. The fever has subsided or entirely disappeared. There is coryza and profuse lachrymation. The cough is still dry at night, but loosens a little in the daytime. The child sits up to cough. There is much predisposition to earache and sometimes sickness at the stomach. Where there is catarrh of the digestive canal and diarrhoea Pulsatilla will be found useful. The eyes agglutinate and the discharge is purulent. Kali bichromicum is so similar to Pulsatilla in many respects that it may be mentioned here, as the two remedies seem to differ in intensity only. Kali bichromicum has pustules developing on the cornea. The throat is swollen and there is catarrhal deafness. It produces an eruption which closely resembles measles. It comes in very well after Pulsatilla when the patient develops more intense symptoms. Measles associated with ear symptoms and swollen glands especially call for Kali bichromicum, and it is one of our best remedies for laryngeal affections, with a hoarse, dry,croupy cough. Dr. Jousset recommends Viola odorata for the cough. Sulphur is a great measles remedy. It is useful where the skin is dusky and the rash does not come out, or is purplish when it does appear.
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