Kids’ health

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Measles also known as Rubeola

Published January 5, 2014 by teacher dahl

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Measles, also called rubeola, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that’s caused by a virus. It causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms, including a fever, cough, and runny nose. Though rare in the United States, 20 million cases occur worldwide every year.

Since measles is caused by a virus, there is no specific medical treatment and the virus has to run its course. But a child who is sick should be sure to receive plenty of fluids and rest, and be kept from spreading the infection to others.

What are the symptoms of measles?

Once you are infected with the virus, the virus multiples in the back of your throat and in your lungs. It then spreads throughout your body. The following are the most common symptoms of measles:

  • A high temperature, sore eyes (conjunctivitis), and a runny nose usually occur first.
  • Small white spots usually develop inside the mouth a day or so later. These can persist for several days.
  • A harsh dry cough is usual.
  • Going off food, tiredness, and aches and pains are usual.
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting is common.
  • A red blotchy rash normally develops about 3-4 days after the first symptoms. It usually starts on the head and neck, and spreads down the body. It takes 2-3 days to cover most of the body. The rash often turns a brownish colour and gradually fades over a few days.
  • Children are usually quite unwell and miserable for 3-5 days. After this, the fever tends to ease, and then the rash fades. The other symptoms gradually ease and go.

Most children are better within 7-10 days. An irritating cough may persist for several days after other symptoms have gone. The immune system makes antibodies during the infection. These fight off the virus and then provide lifelong immunity. It is therefore rare to have more than one bout of measles.

Measles is highly contagious — 90% of people who haven’t been vaccinated for measles will get it if they live in the same household as an infected person. Measles is spread when someone comes in direct contact with infected droplets or when someone with measles sneezes or coughs and spreads virus droplets through the air.

A person with measles is contagious from 1 to 2 days before symptoms start until about 4 days after the rash appears.

Recent Outbreaks

The Department of Health declared measles outbreaks in five cities in Metro Manila Saturday   (Jan 4, 2014 )as the number of patients infected by the viral disease continues to rise.

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What are the possible complications of measles?
Complications are more likely in children with a poor immune system (such as those with leukaemia or HIV), those who are malnourished, children aged under five years and adults. Many malnourished children in the world die when they get measles, usually from a secondary pneumonia. There are still the occasional reports of children in the UK who die from complications of measles. These children have usually not been immunised.

More common complications include:

Conjunctivitis (eye infection).
Laryngitis (inflammation of the voice box).
Ear infection causing earache.
Infections of the airways, such as bronchitis and croup, which can be common.

What are the possible complications of measles?
Complications are more likely in children with a poor immune system (such as those with leukaemia or HIV), those who are malnourished, children aged under five years and adults. Many malnourished children in the world die when they get measles, usually from a secondary pneumonia. There are still the occasional reports of children in the UK who die from complications of measles. These children have usually not been immunised.

More common complications include:

Conjunctivitis (eye infection).
Laryngitis (inflammation of the voice box).
Ear infection causing earache.
Infections of the airways, such as bronchitis and croup, which can be common.

Vitamin A supplements
Vitamin A supplements have been shown to help prevent serious complications arising from a measles infection. Supplements are generally recommended for children living in a country with a high prevalence of a vitamin A deficiency (this is rare in the UK, but common in the developing world). Treatment with vitamin A may be offered to people with measles.

When to see a doctor?
Most children recover. A doctor will normally confirm that the illness is measles. However, you should see a doctor again if symptoms get worse, or if you suspect a complication (see above).

The main serious symptoms to look out for are:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Dehydration. This may be developing if the child drinks little, passes little urine, has a dry mouth and tongue or becomes drowsy.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Convulsion (fit).

Measles immunisation
Immunisation is routine in the UK as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses are usual – the first for children aged between 12 and 13 months and the second usually given at age 3 years and 4 months to 5 years. Immunisation gives excellent protection and so measles is now rare in the UK. However, unfortunately, measles is becoming more common again in children in some areas of the UK. This is due to some children not receiving the MMR vaccine.

source : patient.co.uk

Understanding Ear Infection

Published October 29, 2013 by teacher dahl

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Why Ear Infections Are So Common
It’s not your imagination. Kids can get a lot of ear infections. In fact, 2 out of 3 times, when kids get colds, they also wind up with infections in their ears. The main reasons are that their immune systems are immature and that their little ears don’t drain as well as adults’ ears do.

Inside Your Ear
The Eustachian tube is a canal that connects your middle ear to your throat. It keeps fluid and air pressure from building up inside your ear. Colds, flu, and allergies can all irritate the Eustachian tube and cause it to swell up.

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Diagnosing an Ear Infection

The only way to know for sure if your child has an ear infection is for a doctor to check inside her ear with a device called an otoscope. This is basically just a tiny flashlight with a magnifying lens for the doctor to look through. A healthy eardrum (shown here) looks sort of clear and pinkish-gray. An infected eardrum looks red and swollen.

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Fluid in the Ear

If the Eustachian tube gets blocked, fluid builds up inside your child’s middle ear. This makes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, which can cause infections. Your doctor may look inside your child’s ear with an otoscope, which can blow a puff of air to make his eardrum vibrate. If his eardrum doesn’t vibrate as much as it should, chances are there’s fluid inside.

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Bursting an Eardrum
If too much fluid or pressure builds up inside your child’s middle ear, her eardrum can actually burst (shown here). If that happens, you may see yellow, brown, or white fluid draining from her ear. Although this sounds scary, the eardrum usually heals itself in a couple of weeks. Unless it happens a lot, your child’s hearing should be fine. The good news is that the pain may suddenly disappear because the hole lets the pressure go.

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 Ear Infection Symptoms

The main warning sign of infection is sharp ear pain. Your child may be especially uncomfortable lying down, so he might have a hard time sleeping. Other problems to look for:
Trouble hearing
Fever
Fluid oozing from ears
Dizziness
Stuffy nose

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Ear Infection Symptoms: Babies
With babies or children who are too young to tell you what hurts, ear infections can be sneaky. A lot of times they’ll start tugging or pulling on an ear. Little kids can also just get cranky, have trouble sleeping, or not eat well. Babies may push their bottles away because pressure in their ears makes it hurt to swallow.

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Home Care for Ear Infections

While the immune system fights the infection, there are things you can do to fight your child’s pain. Applying a warm washcloth on the outside of the ear can be soothing. Ear drops can give quick relief, but check with your doctor before using them. Non-prescription painkillers and fever reducers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, are also an option. DO NOT give aspirin to children.

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Antibiotics for Ear Infections
Ear infections often go away on their own, so don’t be surprised if your doctor suggests a “wait and see” approach. The more we use antibiotics, the less effective they become. That’s because bacteria learn to fight back against common medicines. Also, some ear infections are caused by a virus, and antibiotics only work on bacteria. Yes, antibiotics can help, but your doctor will know best when to use them.

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Ear Tubes
For stubborn ear infections that just won’t go away, doctors sometimes insert small tubes through the eardrums. The tubes let fluid drain out of the middle ear and stop it from building back up again. This can ease the pressure or pain and clear up hearing problems. The tubes are usually left in for 8 to 18 months. Most often they fall out on their own.

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Tonsils Can Be the Cause
Sometimes a child’s tonsils get so swollen that they put pressure on the Eustachian tubes connecting her middle ear to her throat — which then causes infections. If that keeps happening, she may need to have her tonsils taken out.

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Preventing Ear Infections
The biggest cause of middle ear infections is the common cold, so avoiding cold viruses is good for ears, too. The best way to stop germs is to make sure your child washes her hands well and often. Other ways to prevent ear infections include keeping your child away from secondhand smoke, getting annual flu shots, and breastfeeding your baby for at least 6 months to boost her immune system.

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Allergies and Ear Infections
Like colds, allergies can also irritate the Eustachian tubes and contribute to middle ear infections. If you can’t keep your child away from whatever’s bothering him, consider having him tested to identify the triggers. Medicine or allergy shots may provide relief and stop the ear infections, too.

source: Web MD

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