Remember that there is no specific treatment for measles, but the disease typically improves within 7-10 days. The doctor will recommend measures to relieve the symptoms until the condition of the individual gets better.
It is best to stay away from school or work at least 4 days from when the measles rash initially appeared to minimize the risk for spreading the infection to others. Avoid contact with others who are at risk to the infection such as pregnant women and young children.
How to relieve the symptoms
In case the signs and symptoms of measles are making the child uneasy, there are measures to consider while waiting for the body to deal with the virus.
Controlling the fever and pain
Ibuprofen and paracetamol can be utilized to minimize the high temperature or fever as well as alleviate any aches or pains if the child feels unpleasant. The liquid form of paracetamol can be given to young children. Just remember not to give aspirin to children below 16 years old. If in doubt on the medications to give, it is best to consult a doctor.
Increase intake of fluids
Once a child has high temperature or fever, you have to make sure that he/she drinks plenty of fluids since there is a risk for dehydration. Keeping the body hydrated can also help minimize the throat discomfort due to the coughing.
How to manage sore eyes
You can gently clean away any crusts from the eyelids and lashes of the eyelids using a cotton wool soaked in water. It is also recommended to close the curtains or dimming the lights. These can greatly help if bright light is hurting the eyes.
How to deal with cold-like symptoms
In case the child has cold-like symptoms such as cough or runny nose, there are several measures that can help provide comfort. You can apply a moist towel on a warm radiator to moisten the air which helps ease the cough or allow the child to stay in a warm, steamy bathroom.
Warm drinks such as those that contain honey or lemon can also help relax the airways, loosen up mucus and soothe coughing. Nevertheless, honey should not be given to infants below 12 months old.
Indications of a serious condition
If the child develops measles, you have to watch out for any indications of serious complications that can sometimes develop. The signs of a serious problem include the following:
- Piercing chest pain that is worse with breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
Bring the child to the nearest emergency department or call for emergency assistance if any of these symptoms are present.