A highly communicable disease characterized by fever, general malaise, sneezing, nasal congestion, brassy cough, conjunctivitis spots on the buccal mucosa, and a maculopapular eruption over the entire body caused the rubeola virus. An attack of measles almost invariably confers permanent immunity.
German measles (rubella) is a contagious but mild viral disease. But, if the disease is contracted in the first 4 months of pregnancy, it may cause serious birth defects. German measles affects the lymph glands in the neck and behind the ears. Symptoms include: fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and stiffness mainly in the neck. A rash often develops.
Red measles (rubeola virus) is a serious viral infection infects the respiratory tract, eyes, and skin. This is one of the most contagious diseases. Incubation is from 7 to 21 days.
Symptoms of red measles include: sneezing, runny nose, cough, fever, loss of appetite, red eyes that may be sensitive to light, tiny white spots in the mouth and throat, and a rash on the forehead and ears that spreads over the whole body. Rash usually lasts from 4 to 5 days and as it subsides the temperature declines.
Typically a childhood disease, adults are also susceptible.
Prognosis is favorable in well nourished children, but the seriousness of the possible complications of measles should not be minimized.
All children who have not had measles or who have not been vaccinated previously should be immunized with live attenuated measles vaccine at 12 months of age. Inactivated vaccine is not recommended because of the short-lived protection it produces.
Measles immune serum globulin is effective in preventing measles if it is given not later than 5 days after exposure.
Complications are more carefully watched for in cases of a history of repeated ear infections, bronchitis, croup, or pneumonia.
Encephalitis is a grave complication. About 1 in 8 will die if this complication is developed. Bronchopneumonia is a serious complication. Otitis media, followed by mastoiditis, brain abscess, or even meningitis, is not rare. Cervical adenitis with marked cellulitis sometimes leads to fatal consequences. Tracheitis and laryngeal stenosis, due to edema of glottis, are sometimes seen. Eye complications are not common in measles, although a marked conjunctivitis usually occurs.
Diagnosis will include ruling out other diseases: scarlet fever, German measles, smallpox, etc.
Herbal Medicine Formulas and Recipes
Dosages given here must be adjusted according to age and weight.
Calcium and magnesium, taken as directed on the label, needed for tissue repair.
Raw thymus, 500 mg. twice per day (this is for adults only).
Vitamin A and E emulsion, taken as directed on the label, are needed to reduce infection and repair tissues. (if child is over 10, use capsule form. If child is under 10 or unable to swallow capsule, use cod liver oil)
Vitamin C, children: 1,000 mg. per day in divided doses, adults: 3,000-10,000 mg. per day in divided doses, is very important for immune function, controls fever and infection.
Vitamin E, 200-800 IU per day, neutralizes harmful free radicals, which would otherwise destroy the cell membrane. Caution: not for use by children under 6 yrs. of age. Consult the pediatrician.
Zinc gluconate lozenges, dissolve 1 lozenge in the mouth (15 mg) 3 times per day (after 4 days drop to 1 lozenge per day), is taken for immune response and tissue repair.
- Bee balm
- Bergamot, wild
- Birch bark
- Bistort, red
- Burdock, great, seed
- Clover, red
- Cohosh, black
- Elder, blossoms
- Gotu kola
- Gum plant
- Holy herb
- Mustard seed
- Pleurisy, root
- Raspberry, leaves
- Sage, red
- Spruce, red
- Violet, wild, leaves
- Woodbine, wild
If you have cancer or a weakened immune system, are on cortisone or anti-cancer drugs (radiation therapy), or have any type of illness with a fever, you should not be immunized against measles.
Keep patient isolated.
Catnip tea or garlic enemas help to lower fever.
Children and adults: take 1/2 tsp. lobelia extract every 4 to 5 hours for pain.
Drink plenty of fluids such as water, juices, and vegetable broths.
Rest until the rash and fever have disappeared, usually around 5 days.
Avoid processed foods.
Keep lights dim. Do not read or watch television while eyes are sensitive to light.
Antibiotics are not necessary unless complications occur.
Check with the doctor.
Tea for measles:
Safflower (4 parts)
Balm (4 parts)
Licorice (2 parts)
Elder blossoms (2 parts)
Wild violet leaves (1 part)
Boil 1 1/8 tsp. in 3 cups of water for 2 to 3 minutes, covered; let stand for 10 minutes and strain. Take 1 cup morning, noon, and night. Sweeten if desired.