Measles is a viral infection that’s highly contagious. Also known as rubeola, it is actually a condition that affects the respiratory system. Measles can easily spread from person to person through contact with the mucus or saliva of the infected individual. Your risk of getting infected is considerably increased when you drink from the glass of someone who has it or share utensils with the person. Coughing or sneezing also causes the virus, which can live for several hours, to be released into the air and spread.
In developed countries where the administration of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is implemented, measles is regarded as uncommon. In other places, however, it is one of the leading causes of deaths in children. While it’s true that measles is common among children, adults can get it too.
Signs and Symptoms
According to medical authorities, the various signs and symptoms of measles show up about 10 days after getting infected. Initially, you might think that you are merely suffering from a cold or flu, until the characteristic rashes of measles start showing up. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of this viral infection:
- Eye redness
- Sensitivity to light
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Presence of grayish white spots in the mouth
After a few days of encountering these signs and symptoms, the rash — the hallmark sign of measles — appears. Red-brown in color and itchy, it usually starts to show up at the back of the ears, then spreading to the rest of the face and neck. The rash then spreads throughout the rest of the body. It is the presence of this rash, along with the other signs and symptoms mentioned earlier, that measles can be confirmed by a doctor.
There is really no cure for measles. However, a doctor may prescribe analgesics to help deal with symptoms such as fever and muscle aches. Typically, the virus and different symptoms go away on their own within 2 to 3 weeks.
While there are plenty of home remedies available for measles, it’s important to note that they are merely additions to the medical treatment a specialist may provide. The following are some proven home remedies for measles:
- Aloe vera gel – Breaking a leaf and applying the gel within on the rash helps provide relief from the itchiness. Opting for this home remedy most especially at night help makes the person get some much-needed sleep.
- Lemon juice – Thanks to the acidic properties of lemon juice, healing and drying of the rash can be attained much faster. Daubing lemon juice on the spots also helps deal with the itchiness.
- Oatmeal – Dumping a cup of oatmeal in the bath water is another highly effective all-natural relief from the symptoms. Someone with measles should soak in this oatmeal bath for several minutes.
- Baking soda – Another itch-busting bath may be done with the help of baking soda. A cup of it dissolved in bath water can help keep the person suffering from measles from scratching.
- Licorice root tea – Sipping a cup of this herbal tea which you can easily obtain at most health food stores is said to be highly effective in dealing with the various signs and symptoms of the viral infection.
- Valerian root tea – Drinking this tea is especially beneficial before bedtime. That’s because valerian root tea is said to be very excellent at promoting a good night’s sleep.
- Neem leaves – Also known as Indian lilac, neem leaves can be used to provide relief from the itchiness. Clean ones should be ground and the resulting paste can be applied on problem areas.
- Bitter gourd juice – Thanks to the antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals in bitter gourd, its juice can promote faster recovery from measles. A tablespoon of bitter gourd juice with honey should be taken twice daily.
- Coconut water – The revitalizing properties of coconut water can help ward off the flu-like symptoms of measles. Drinking it also helps flush out toxins and keep your body hydrated.