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  • Measles Alert: What You Need to Know about the Virus

    With DOH declaring measles outbreaks in Manila, learn how to protect your family from it, and more.
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    What are the symptoms of measles? How does it progress in a patient?

     “Incubation period is about eight to 12 days, meaning, you don't get sick right away,” says pediatrician Florence Irena A. Atutubo, MD, DPPS, who holds clinics in Cubao, Marikina and San Mateo. “The virus multiplies inside your body first before manifestations of illness occur. On day 1, the patient will have a low to moderate grade fever, approx 37.5 to 38.5 degrees Celsius, and he may already have red or watery eyes, and the beginning of a cold, which may just seem like a regular cold.

    “On day 2, fever will rise, and cough may start. The fever is usually at its peak on days 3 and 4. Rashes will appear first on the face, then will later spread to the arms, chest and back, abdomen, and lastly on the lower extremities.”

    Aguilar-Ocampo provides a summary of the symptoms: 

    “High fever (>38.5°C)

    Red lesions with bluish white spots in the center or the inner part of the cheeks

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    Cough

    Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose with nasal discharge

    Conjunctivitis or reddening of the outer layer of the eye and inner area of the eyelid• Prominent rashes which appear first on the forehead (around the hairline), behind the ears, and on the upper neck. It spreads towards the trunk, arms and legs, even on the palms and soles.”

    Paola Salcedo*, an HR executive, exhibited symptoms of measles on December 20, 2013. “After about five or six hours [since the appearance of the rash on my forehead and back, as well as redness of my cheeks], I couldn’t walk. My soles hurt. My body was sore.” She was advised to stay in solitary confinement at home for two weeks.

    “The rashes are red spots,” Salcedo explains. “They’re not like tiny wounds (pustules). The rashes weren’t bumpy (the skin remains smooth); they were under the skin. Your skin is super itchy. The doctors gave me antihistamines for the itch and they gave me another capsule that would help me sleep, if the itch becomes unbearable. 

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    I had insomnia the whole time that I had measles. My eyes hurt; they felt sore. The eye sockets sting. You want to close your eyes, but you’re not asleep. You’re really awake. You can’t read a book because it would strain your eyes.” 

     

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