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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Measles: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Infections (Infectious Diseases)


Alternate Names : Red Measles, Rubeola, Morbilli

Measles | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the disease?

Treatment of measles involves relieving symptoms by such measures as:

  • vaporizers and a warm room to help reduce the cough
  • acetaminophen for fever or discomfort
  • plenty of oral fluids to help keep lung secretions thin
  • a dark room or sunglasses if the person is sensitive to light
  • The person should be isolated during the contagious period.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Acetaminophen, as well as other medications, may cause stomach upset. Aspirin should not be given to anyone younger than 16. There is a link between the use of aspirin in children with a viral illness and Reye's syndrome. Reye's syndrome is a rare disease that involves the brain, and it has a high mortality rate.

    What happens after treatment for the disease?

    A person with measles should rest until the fever and the rash disappear. The individual should not go back to school or work for 7 to 10 days, or until after the fever and rash are gone.

    How is the disease monitored?

    It's very important to carefully isolate the person during the contagious period, so that others are not infected. It is also very important to watch for signs of secondary infection, including:

  • pneumonia, including shortness of breath
  • ear infection, or otitis, which can cause ear pain
  • encephalitis, or infection of the linings of the brain, and meningitis, or infection of the linings of the spinal cord.
  • These infections can cause a high fever, headache that progress to a stiff neck and back, and extreme drowsiness. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Measles: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

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