By: Elmer Palomata, MD - AVP for Provider Relations and Claims Administration
Tigdas or measles is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. It is highly contagious and is easily spread by inhalation of airborne viral particles, com-monly through sneezing and coughing. It may also be acquired through direct contact with secretions from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person.
The appearance of symptoms vary between eight to twelve days after expo-sure and may last up to two weeks. Your doctor will usually be able to diag-nose measles from the combination of symptoms, such as the small spots in-side the mouth (Koplik's spots) and the characteristic total body skin rash that usually starts from the back of the ear and spreads to cover most of the body and to the hands and feet. Other symptoms include high grade fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes.
Since measles is caused by a virus, there is no specific treatment. Most will recover with supportive care which includes vitamin A supplement, adequate rest, nutrition and plenty of fluids. However, poorly-nourished children and those with weak immune systems may develop potentially fatal complications such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and encephalitis.