Among all childhood diseases, measles is probably considered one of the least dangerous compared to mumps, for example. The risk of catching the infection is reduced severalfold if the child is vaccinated. However, there have recently been more and more opponents of immunization. At the same time, the complications of measles are real and dangerous, especially if the baby’s immune system isn’t ready to fight the disease on its own.
Moreover, not only unvaccinated children are at risk. Babies who have not yet been vaccinated due to the young age can surprisingly become victims of the illness as well. A young mother, Sophie Dale, shared her warning with other parents. She has never been against vaccination. On the contrary, the girl got convinced by her own experience of its importance. Her little son Levi was diagnosed with measles shortly before the vaccination should have been given.
In most cases, the disease has no complications, being expressed mainly by a rash and fever. In Levi’s case, it was manifested not only by rashes and high temperature, but also by lack of appetite, swelling, seizures, and semi-conscious state. He was urgently hospitalized and spent 6 days in the hospital.
Like many mothers, the girl didn’t know that the complications of measles may include encephalitis, meningitis, convulsions, bronchitis, pneumonia, croup, ear infections, and even hearing loss. Levi was treated immediately against all these diseases, including sepsis. Fortunately, the boy recovered, and his mother renewed her conviction that vaccination isn’t a guarantee from certain illnesses, but rather an effective way to protect her baby in the future.
Jilly Moss also stopped believing in the low risk of measles. Her daughter, Alba, was diagnosed with it at 11 months.
Doctors didn’t immediately suspect the disease because, in addition to high fever and rash, the girl suffered from red eyes, swelling, and breathing problems. For some time she was treated against viral tonsillitis. As a result, the delay in making the proper diagnosis made the doctors fight for the baby’s eyesight – another potential complication of measles.
Measles is an infectious disease that develops in the upper respiratory tract and is airborne transmittable. Its main symptoms are:
- dry cough;
- runny nose;
- sore throat;
- eye inflammation (resembling conjunctivitis);
- small white spots on the mucous membranes of the mouth, which also look inflamed;
The incubation period is 10-12 days, the temperature during the normal course of the disease lasts 4-7 days. Risk factors include lack of immunity, vitamin A deficiency, trips to countries with measles outbreaks. Children under 5 and adults over 30 are most susceptible to infection. There are only two ways to protect against measles: vaccination and isolation.
Fatal cases are quite rare nowadays and are usually caused by such complications as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis with the incubation period of up to 10 years. The people who were exposed to measles up to the age of 2 have the highest chance of contracting it. As a result, they have a gradual deterioration in behavioral and intellectual levels, and seizures, ultimately progressing to coma and death.
Childhood illnesses are called as such because they are often mild and pass quickly. However, they should never be underestimated. If you have the slightest suspicion that the disease has complications, immediately consult a medical professional.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.