“Tigdas” is measles in Filipino, and it can cause life-threatening complications when contracted by young children (there is a vaccine for it). Tigdas hangin, on the other hand, isn't usually dangerous, but your child still has to stay home and rest for a few days. Here’s are a few things you should know about it including symptoms and treatment: 1. Tigdas hangin causes high fever and then a rash afterward. The medical term for tigdas hangin is roseola infantum, Dr. Faith Buenaventura-Alcazaren, a pediatrician at Perpetual Succor Hospital and Maternity in Marikina and at Marikina Doctors Hospital and Medical Center, told SmartParenting.com.ph. “Roseola is not typically a serious illness, but it is bothersome,” she said.
Tigdas hangin typically starts with a fever which can be accompanied by a mild upper respiratory illness, like a cold or a cough. “The fever usually occurs for three days and when the fever starts going down, that’s when the rash appears,” said Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas, a pediatrician at Parkview Children’s Clinic in Makati.
Up close, the rash looks like many small pink spots. They are mostly flat, but some can be raised as well. You may first notice it on your baby's chest and back, and it can spread to the neck, face, arms, and legs. Unlike chicken pox spots, the rash from tigdas hangin is not usually itchy or uncomfortable, according to Mayo Clinic.
2. A lot of babies get tigdas hangin. Tigdas hangin usually occurs in infants ages 6 to 24 months and is very common, said Dr. Ma. Eleanor Sevilla-Sia, a pediatrician and neonatologist at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig and at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa. “It’s is caused by the virus called human herpes virus 6. It’s different from chicken pox. And, it’s also different from herpes that’s sexually transmitted and different from the one that causes cold sores.”
Dr. Sevilla-Sia said that since the virus is found in the saliva, it can easily spread when the child coughs, sneezes or talks. It’s best to keep your baby home and away from other children especially from those who are immunocompromised. “Hand washing is key, and no sharing of utensils,” she added.
3. Tigdas hangin will go away on its own. According to Dr. Isip-Cumpas, it usually ends after a week. “Treatment is symptomatic, meaning you just want to make the child comfortable. Paracetamol can be given to bring down the fever.” Take note: antibiotics do not treat tigdas hangin, which is caused by a virus. Antibiotics are given to fight bacterial infections.
Dr. Sevilla-Sia added, “Tigdas hangin is a mild illness, but parents do get scared as it presents with high-grade fever up to 40 °C for up to five days. After the fever stops, the rashes appear.” She cautioned that tigdas hangin, however, sometimes causes seizures in babies, and this requires immediate medical attention.
But don’t worry too much. “Children who are immunocompetent rarely have complications,” said Dr. Isip-Cumpas. Keep calm, mom: consult with a pedia, keep baby at home, hydrated and comfortable, and wait for the rashes to pass.