Highly infectious viral disease spread by droplets in coughs and sneezes. More serious in adults than children, although one infection usually confers immunity for life. Until age of six months babies are protected by their mothers' antibodies. Incubation is 10-11 days, followed by pre-rash stage and rash stage. Child is infectious from first day of pre-rash stage until five days after rash appears. Contact your medical doctor to confirm diagnosis. Complications include acute Middle Ear Infection, Bronchitis and other chest infections, encephalitis, and in rare cases Febrile Convulsions. If Fever persists or child still feels ill after rash begins to fade, or if child complains of Earache, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 12 hours. If remedies listed below produce no improvement, or if you are uncertain which remedy to give, contact your homeopath.
Lasts 3-4 days. First signs are inflamed throat, runny nose, dry Cough, red, watering eyes, and a high temperature, followed within 24 hours by Koplik's Spots (raised, white, salt-like spots) inside mouth. Koplik's Spots confirm that infection is measles.
Specific remedies to be given every 2 hours for up to 10 doses
- Cold symptoms and high fever Aconite 30c or Belladonna 30c
- Symptoms as for Aconite or Belladonna, but eyes red and watering, and eyelids swollen Euphrasia 30c
- Child feverish but not thirsty, very tearful and miserable, thick green catarrh, light hurts eyes, dry cough at night, lots of phlegm coughed up in morning, upset stomach or diarrhoea Pulsatilla 30c
Lasts 2-3 days. Spots are dark red, flat or raised, and appear first on forehead, around hair line, and behind ears, then spread downwards to rest of body As rash fades, temperature returns to normal and spots turn brownish and flaky.
Specific remedies to be given every 4 hours for up to 10 doses
- Rash slow to appear, child irritable, has high temperature and is very thirsty, dry hacking cough, headache made worse by coughing Bryonia 30c
- Rash slow to clear, spots turn purplish Sulphur 30c
Immunization: Orthodox medicine offers injection of live modified virus in second year of life, homeopathic medicine Morbillinum 30c nosode. If your child has not been immunised and comes into contact with a measles sufferer, contact your homeopath. If child is already incubating measles, orthodox immunization may suppress rash and lead to more serious illness in adolescence. It has also been associated with the later development of Crohn's Disease. If child's immune system is already suppressed for some reason (by an existing illness or by antibiotics, for example) consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 12 hours an injection of gamma-globulin, which protects for 2 weeks, may be the best course.
Self-help: Keep child away from others if possible, and in a well-ventilated room. Draw curtains if light hurts eyes. Give plenty of bottled or filtered water to drink until fever subsides, and keep child on light diet, with plenty of Vitamin C, until runny nose and cough clear up. Bathe eyes with saline solution (I teaspoon salt dissolved in a glass of warm water). See Fever for other self-help measures.