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German Measles Treatment: 7 Ways To Alleviate Your Ailing Child's Symptoms And Discomfort
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  • Editor’s Note: This article is intended for information purposes only. It does not substitute a doctor. It is vital to always consult a medically trained professional for advice that suits your needs best.

    A lot of people get confused with measles and German measles, or rubella (tigdas hangin in Filipino). They are, in fact, two different viral illnesses that usually affect children. Measles is a more serious and deadlier illness, but German measles shouldn't be taken lightly either.

    If a woman is infected with rubella while pregnant, for instance, she can be at risk of having a miscarriage or her developing baby can be at risk of having serious birth defects. This is according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's why measures have to be taken as German measles treatment and as prevention.

    What you need to know

    German measles, also known by its medical term roseola infantum, may not be "typically a serious illness, but it is bothersome." This is according to Dr. Faith Buenaventura-Alcazaren, a pediatrician, in a previous interview with Smart Parenting.

    Roseola infantum is caused by the virus called herpes virus 6, as explained by Dr. Ma. Eleanor Sevilla-Sia, a pediatrician and neonatologist. She explained to us in another previous interview: "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 pointed out that the virus is found in the saliva, that's why it is easily spread when the infected child coughs, sneezes, or just talks.

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    Isolation is therefore a must to avoid infecting other children, especially those who are immunocompromised or have a weak immune system. Babies from 6 months to 2 years old are particularly vulnerable to the disease.

    Symptoms of German measles

    The CDC lists down some common symptoms of this highly contagious disease:

    • A low-grade fever
    • Sore throat
    • A rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body

    Additional symptoms include a cough and a cold, according to another pediatrician that we've talked to, Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas. She said, “The fever usually occurs for three days and when the fever starts going down, that’s when the rash appears.

    The rash appears as pink spots that are typically flat, but may also have bumps. They are oftentimes noticeable first on the face, though they may already materialized on the back, chest, and all the way to the arms and legs. They are usually not itchy, according to medical experts.

    For her part, Dr. Sevilla-Sia said she understands why a lot of parents get very concerned though German measles is known to be a simple illness. This is because an infected child can have a fever that reaches 40°C and lasts for five days.

    She also warned that among infected babies, a seizure may be possible, and it needs an urgent medical attention.

    German measles treatment

    The disease resolves on its own after a week, said Isip-Cumpas. She made it clear that there's no medicine for rubella itself but for the symptoms associated with it. So  paracetamol is usually given to break a fever and make the infected child feel better.

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    The doctors warned that antibiotics do not cure German measles, which is caused by a virus. Antibiotics are only given to treat diseases caused by bacteria. So do not give your rubella-infected child antibiotics.

    Just remember this information from Dr. Isip-Cumpas: children who are immuno-competent, or with a strong immune system, rarely develop complications.

    You may also try these measures to help alleviate discomfort:

    • Make sure your child gets enough rest.
    • Give your child plenty of fluids to drink, such as water ang fruit juice, to replace those lost by fever and sweating.
    • Give your child rehydration solutions, only if needed, to replace both fluids and electrolytes.
    • Try using a cool-mist humidifier to moisten the air in your child's room and relieve a cough and sore throat.
    • Try using saline nasal sprays to soothe irritation by keeping the inside of your child's nose moist.
    • Make sure your child is resting his or her eyes and keep the lights low.

    Most importantly, keep in mind that prevention is key. Have your child inoculated with the mumps-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is available starting at 9 months old.

    Read here on another viral disease that is common among children.

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