, a highly infectious
disease, is very common in childhood. It is so common at this stage
of life that nearly all children everywhere in the world go through this brief period of red spots.
The disease appears in epidemic
form, often in the winter season.
The first symptoms
which appear during 7 to 14 days after exposure to the virus
feverishness, cold, watering of the eyes and dry cough. Rashes appear on the skin in three to
five days after the onset of these symptoms
. These rashes, which consist of small rounded spots
with reddened skin in between, initially appear on the sides of the face and the neck and then
gradually spread all over the body, appearing last on the extremities. Initially pink in colour,
these rashes grow darker as time passes.
is usually accompanied with slight fever and diarrhoea
. In rare cases of great severity,
high fever and delirium may occur. Complication which can arise from this disease include
, and ear abscess. One serious but rare complication is the inflammation
of the brain.
is one of the most contagious
diseases, caused by a virus
. The measles virus
that in cities, children catch this disease before they reach the age of five years.
Mothers generally pass their antibodies
to their children which immunize them passively. This
protection, however, does not last beyond the six months. Measles
is easily transmitted in the
early stages through the invisible droplets of moisture which are discharged from a patient's
nose or mouth when he coughs or sneezes.
The real cause of this disease, like other diseases of childhood, is , however, wrong feed and
unhygienic living conditions. Measles
is thus a natural healing crisis aimed at cleansing the
infant organism of the toxins and deleterious and products resulting from the assimilation of the
vast excess of starchy and sugary foods consumed by young children today.
In the beginning of the treatment, the patient should be given juices of fresh fruits like orange
and lemon frequently. This is sufficient as the child suffers from lack of appetite during this
period. He should be kept in a well ventilated room. As light has a detrimental effect upon the
eyes during measles
, because of the weakened condition of the external eye tissues, the child
should have his eyes shaded or the room should have subdued light.
The treatment should aim at bringing down the temperature and eliminating the toxins from the
system. This can be achieved by administration
of warm water enema every morning,
application of mud packs on the abdomen twice a day in the morning and evening and repeated
application of chest packs. Lukewarm water baths can be given every day to ease itching.
Addition of extracts of neem leaves to this water will prove beneficial.
As the condition improves, the child can be placed on an all fruit diet for a further few days.
Thereafter he may be allowed to gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet.
Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of measles
. The most
valuable amongst these is the use of orange. When the digestive power of the body is seriously
hampered, the patient suffers from intense toxaemia and the lack of saliva coats his tongue and
often destroys his thrust for water as well as his desire for food. The agreeable flavour of orange
juice helps greatly in overcoming these drawbacks. Orange juice is the most ideal liquid food in
The juice of lemon is another remedy. It also makes an effective thirst-quenching drink in
. About 15 to 25 ml. of lemon juice , should be taken diluted with water for this purpose.
Turmeric (haldi) is beneficial in the treatment of measles
. Raw roots of turmeric should be dried
in the sun and ground to a fine powder. This powder, mixed with a few drops of honey and the
juice of a few bitter gourd leaves , should be given to the patient suffering from measles
Powdered liquorice (mulethi) has been found valuable in relieving the cough, typical of measles
The child patient should be given this powdered liquorice mixed with honey.
The use of barley ( Jau) water has proved beneficial in case of troublesome cough in measles
This water should be taken frequently sweetened with the newly drawn oil of sweet almonds.
The seeds of eggplant ( baingan ) are stimulant. According to Dr. Sanyal of Calcutta, intake of
half a gram to one gram of these seeds daily for three days will help develop immunity
for one year.
Children having measles
should not be allowed to mixed with others. They should be given
complete rest. Hygienic condition along with the above mentioned treatment will lead to speed
recovery. Medications should be strictly avoided.