|Photo Credit: corbisimages.com|
Measles is a viral infection and is highly contagious. Symptoms of measles include inflammation of the respiratory system and rashes all over the body. Measles is not a serious threat for people who have healthy immune system but it can still lead to a more serious problems including pneumonia and even encephalitis or inflammation of the brain if left untreated or ignored, especially to children.
Measles is a communicable disease but there is no particular medicine the doctor can prescribe once you get infected. Normally, the virus and symptoms will disappear within 2-3 weeks. However, measles can be prevented through immunization. Children can be protected against measles with a combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella called MMR. Ideally, infants between 12 to 13 months should be given the first dose of MMR. The second dose is then administered between the ages of 3 to 5 years old.
One of the best and natural ways to prevent measles is proper hygiene. Maintaining a good hygiene can go a long way to prevent measles, or any other disease for that matter. Just like other viruses, the measles virus can be transferred from one person to another by hand. A direct hand-to-hand contact with a person with measles is a way to get infected. Even merely touching the object or anything touched by the infected person is a way to spread the virus. Therefore, just by washing hands as frequent as possible, you’ll prevent measles from spreading. Wash your hands thoroughly so that the source of infection is eliminated.
A person with measles should avoid interacting with others to prevent the spread of the disease since it is airborne and highly contagious. Once a family member is infected with measles, it is more important to contain the infection and protect the other family members from getting the disease. About four days before and four days after the rashes break out, the infection is highly contagious. Do take note of this as the Four-And-Four rule. It is recommended then that the person infected should avoid interacting with other people during this period. Staying at home is best. And as much as possible, the person with measles must stay in a separate room.
If for some isolated circumstance where you need to be with someone who has measles, the most natural and effective way to protect yourself is to wear surgical mask. Measles virus spreads easily because it is airborne. When a person with measles coughs or sneezes, the virus can get caught in the tiny droplets of moisture that get suspended in the air. You can get infected with the virus this way. Wearing a surgical mask is one way of protecting yourself to contact the virus. Surgical masks are affordable and you can buy them in most pharmaceutical stores. It also works the other way around. If you have measles and interacting with other people is inevitable, you can prevent spreading the virus by simply wearing a surgical mask.
One of the risk factors of measles is vitamin A deficiency. Children who lack vitamin A in their system are predisposed to catching the virus. Vitamin A is used by the body to maintain the veracity of the cells that reinforce the cavities and flat surfaces of the body. Vitamin A also helps improve the immune system thus protecting you from catching measles virus or any diseases for that matter. You can increase your vitamin A by eating vitamin A rich foods such as carrots, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes and fish. When necessary or upon the advice of doctors, there are vitamin A capsules that can be administered to children with vitamin A deficiency. Just make sure that this is done by professionals.
You cannot treat measles with any prescription medication. While it is true that getting a vaccine (MMR) is a safe, inexpensive and effective way to prevent measles, there is no harm practicing the natural ways to prevent measles.