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Health Condition

Measles

About This Condition

Measles is a potentially serious, highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus.

Infection is easily transmitted by kissing or being coughed or sneezed upon by an infected person. The recent introduction of an effective vaccine against measles has greatly reduced the number of cases in many countries, though some developing nations continue to experience serious measles epidemics in children.

Symptoms

Symptoms of measles begin with a runny nose, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, and a slight fever, often accompanied by redness of the eyes and sensitivity to light. Later, the fever rises and a mildly itchy red rash develops on the face and spreads to the lower body. In severe cases, there may be high fever, convulsions, pneumonia, or severe diarrhea, and some severe cases can result in death.

Other Therapies

People with measles are commonly advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Healthcare providers may also recommend limited contact with non-immunized people to prevent transmission of the disease.

References

1. Rumore MM. Vitamin A as an immunomodulating agent. Clin Pharm 1993;12:506-14 [review].

2. West CE. Vitamin A and measles. Nutr Rev 2000;58:S46-S54.

3. Glasziou PP, Mackerras DE. Vitamin A supplementation in infectious diseases: a meta-analysis. BMJ 1993;306:366-70.

4. Markowitz LE, Nzilambi N, Driskell WJ, et al. Vitamin A levels and mortality among hospitalized measles patients, Kinshasa, Zaire. J Trop Pediatr 1989;35:109-12.

5. Arrieta AC, Zaleska M, Stutman HR, Marks MI. Vitamin A levels in children with measles in Long Beach, California. J Pediatr 1992;121:75-8.

6. Butler JC, Havens PL, Sowell AL, et al. Measles severity and serum retinol (vitamin A) concentration among children in the United States. Pediatrics 1993;91:1176-81.

7. Frieden TR, Sowell AL, Henning KJ, et al. Vitamin A levels and severity of measles. New York City. Am J Dis Child 1992;146:182-6.

8. Fawzi WW, Chalmers TC, Herrera MG, Mosteller F. Vitamin A supplementation and child mortality. A meta-analysis. JAMA 1993;269:898-903.

9. Barclay AJ, Foster A, Sommer A. Vitamin A supplements and mortality related to measles: a randomised clinical trial. BMJ 1987;294:294-6.

10. Hussey GD, Klein M. A randomized, controlled trial of vitamin A in children with severe measles. N Engl J Med 1990;323:160-4.

11. Kawasaki Y, Hosoya M, Katayose M, Suzuki H. The efficacy of oral vitamin A supplementation for measles and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Kansenshogaku Zasshi 1999;73:104-9 [in Japanese].

12. Ellison JB. Intensive vitamin A therapy in measles. BMJ 1932;2:708-11.

13. Lin YM, Flavin MT, Schure R, et al. Antiviral activities of bioflavonoids. Planta Med 1999;65:120-5.

14. Boyle W, Saine A. Lectures in naturopathic hydrotherapy. East Palestine, Ohio: Buckeye Naturopathic Press, 1988.

15. Lust, J. The Herb Book. New York: Bantam Books, 1974.

16. Pigatto P, Bigardi A, Caputo R, et al. An evaluation of the allergic contact dermatitis potential of colloidal grain suspensions. Am J Contact Dermat 1997;8:207-9.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

Drugs used to treat MEASLES. Select drug name to view medication information and pricing