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MEASLES

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person when they cough or sneeze. A person is usually contagious for 4 days before the onset of signs or symptoms and until 4 days after the onset of signs or symptoms.

What are the symptoms of measles?

The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, which begins about 10-12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts 4-7 days. A runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes and small white spots inside the cheeks can also develop in the initial stage of the illness. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for 5-6 days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of 7-18 days).

Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A, or those whose immune systems have been weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases.

Who is at risk of contracting measles?

People who have not received the vaccine for measles are much more likely to develop the disease. Anyone who recovers from measles is immune for the rest of their life.

What is the treatment for measles?

There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within 2–3 weeks.

Are there any complications caused by measles?

Yes, particularly in malnourished children and people with reduced immunity; measles can cause serious complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, severe diarrhea, ear infection and blindness.

How to protect against measles?

Measles can be prevented by immunization. The measles vaccine has been in use for over 40 years. It is safe and effective. The measles vaccine is often incorporated with rubella and/or mumps vaccines in countries where these illnesses are problems. It is equally effective in the single or combined form. Two doses of the vaccine are recommended to ensure immunity, as about 15% of vaccinated children fail to develop immunity from the first dose.

Exposure to measles: What to do

Call your doctor if you think you or your child may have been exposed to measles, or if you or your child exhibits symptoms that make you suspect measles. Review your family's immunization records with your doctor.

Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants of UAE

The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants of the UAE includes integrated scientific data on 30 medicinal plants. A second volume will be available soon and will cover other 40 medicinal plants.

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