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Measles

Measles

Description

Measles, formerly one of the most common diseases of humans, is a highly contagious, acute, fever-producing, self-limiting, disease caused by a viral infection. The infection spreads throughout the body particularly affecting the skin and respiratory tract.

The measles virus has a 7 to 14 day incubation period before symptoms begin; once measles are caught, it is unlikely to recur, due to immunity.

Measles is possibly one of the most common and serious of all childhood diseases. It is also serious if caught by nonimmune adults. Measles has become less common due to immunization.

A common myth about measles is that light can damage the eyes once infected by the measles virus. This is not the case, although light may irritate the eyes. Should this occur, darken the room of the infected individual and report the light sensitivity to a physician: in a few cases meningitis will be diagnosed. Isolating the person with measles from others in a close residential environment is usually not beneficial; it is extremely contagious and contagion may well have spread before symptoms appeared.

It is best to keep a child at home until a physician recommends the child return to school. Do not force the child to stay in bed; rather, encourage restful activities.

Provide the child with plenty of fluids. Antifebrile drugs and non-aspirin substitutes (since aspirin has been linked to Reye's syndrome in children) may be prescribed.

Causes

Primary Factors
The measles are caused by infection with a paramyxovirus.

Predisposing Factors
Direct or indirect contact with infected individual.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of measles vary with the natural course of the infection.

Days 1 and 2

FeverRunny nose
Red, watery eyesDry, hacking cough
DiarrheaPhotosensitivity
ConjunctivitisEdema of the eyelids
IrritabilityMalaise
Anorexia



Day 3
Decreased fever
Tiny bluish-white specks with white or red halos appear in the lining of the mouth called Koplik's spots

Days 4 and 5
Increased fever
Characteristic skin rash which begins on the forehead and behind the ears as small, red, slightly raised spots; these spots gradually spread to the head and the rest of the body; as they spread, they enlarge and coalesce

Day 6
Rash begins to fade

Day 7
All symptoms are gone

Note: Communicability of the measles virus is greatest during the earliest phases of infection.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Immune System Support

---------------------------------
General Supplements
---------------------------------

AdultChild/Adolescent
Bioflavonoids100 - 200 mg 100 - 200 mg
Vitamin C500 - 2,000 mg 500 - 2,000 mg
Vitamin E100 - 400 IU 100 - 400 IU
Zinc 10 - 20 mg 10 - 20 mg



Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

The protein status of an individual affects the course of measles. When the host is malnourished, viral infection may progress to greater morbidity, or mortality.

Secondary infections with bacterial agents are more common in poorly nourished individuals. This synergism is underscored in measles.

The mortality rate from measles in protein-deficient children from underdeveloped countries is 100 times greater than that in children from the United States and Western Europe.

Although American children rarely suffer from protein deficiency, a Protein Enriched Diet or an Immune Strengthening Diet should be observed to provide ample energy and protein for fighting the virus and preventing secondary infections. Additional fluids should be ingested to minimize dehydration due to fever.

Homeopathic Remedy

1. Tuberculinum - 1M
2. Pulsatilla nigricans - 30C
3. Gelsemium sempervirens - 30C, 30X

Advanced, by symptom:

Eyes sore, sensitive to light - Euphrasia officinalis.

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.

Legend

X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


References

Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Tissue Salts

Calc. Phos.convalescence;
Ferr. Phos.primary remedy, continue as long as the fever lasts;
Kali Mur.principal remedy to control excess fibrin;
Kali Sulf.reactivates the rash if it is suppressed too soon;
Nat. Mur.watery excess: tears, frothy saliva, itching;



4 tablets every hour at first, then every 2 hours.

Herbal Approaches

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Herbs
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Aloe
Eyebright
Lobelia
Mullein
Nettle
Witch hazel

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Discussion:

Aloe or Calendula (Marigold) gel may be applied to the sores.

Eyebright eyewash can help with photosensitivty discomfort. (Always keep the room darkened.)

Lobelia functions as a diaphoretic to help bring out the rash.

Mullein is used during the acute stage.


Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Eucalyptus Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Cough
Diarrhea
Edema
Fever
Infection

Abstracts

References

Aaby P: Nutritional status and delayed mortality following early exposure to measles. Epidemiol Infect, 1996 Dec, 117:3, 525-31.

Arrieta, A. et al: Vitamin A Levels in Children With Measles in Long Beach, California. Journal of Pediatrics, July 1992;121(1):75-8.

Beisel, W.R. 1983. Infectious dieases - Nutritional Support of Medical Pratice. 2 ed. H.A. Schneider. Harper & Row, Philadelphia.

Bhaskaram P: Measles & malnutrition. Indian J Med Res, 1995 Nov, 102:, 195-9.

Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.

Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.

Fawzi, W. W. et al: Vitamin A Supplementation and Child Mortality: A Meta-Analysis. JAMA, February 17, 1993;269(7):898- 903.

Frieden, T. R., et al: Vitamin A Levels and the Severity of Measles: New York City. American Journal of Diseases of Children, February 1992;146:182-186.

Gujral S & Gopaldas T: Risk factors of nutritional blindness and determinants of a successful vitamin A prophylaxis programme. Indian Pediatr, 1995 Feb, 32:2, 199-205.

Hamilton, H.K. ed. 1982. Professional Guide To Diseases Intermed Communications Inc. Pub, Springfield, Massachusetts. 1323 pp.

Ijsselmuiden, C.B. et al: Vitamin A, Childhood Mortality, Foresight and Epidemiology. South African Medical Journal, February 15, 1992;81(4):182-183.

Jaffe, M.I. & A.R. Rabson. Lymphocyte Subsets in Measles: Depressed Helper/Inducer Reversed by Treatment with Ascorbic Acid. Journal Of Clinical Investigation, 72 (1983).

Kelley DS: Effects of dietary arachidonic acid on human immune response. Lipids, 1997 Apr, 32:4, 449-56.

Kirschmann, J.D. 1990. Nutrition Almanac: Nutrition Search. McGrew-Hill: New York.

Kunz, J.R.M. 1982. The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide. Random House Pub, New York. 832 pp.

Nelson GJ et al., A human dietary arachidonic acid supplementation study conducted in a metabolic research unit: rationale and design. Lipids, 1997 Apr, 32:4, 415-20.

Nockels, C.F. Protective Effectives of Supplemental Vitamin E Against Infection. Federation Proceedings, 38. 1979.

Nutrition and Cataracts. Nutrition Reviews, 32. 1984.

Robbins, S.L. & R.S. Cotran. 1979. Pathologic Basis of Disease. 2nd ed. Saunders Pub Co., Philadelphia. 1598 pp.

Petersdorf, R.G. & R.D. Adams. 1983. Harrison's Principles Of Internal Medicine. 10th ed. McGraw Hill Pub Co., New York. 2212

Rosales-FJ & Kjolhede-C.: A single 210-mumol oral dose of retinol does not enhance the immune response in children with measles. J-Nutr. 1994 Sep; 124(9): 1604-14.

Scrimshaw, N.S. 1964. Protein deficiency and infectious diseases. Mammalian Protein Metabolism. Vol. II. H.N. Munro and J.B. Allison, eds. Academic Press, New York.

Slom, C.: Vitamin A May Ease Severity of Measles in Children. Medical Tribune, March 12, 1992;7.

 


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