Measles, a highly contagious sometimes fatal infection characterized by fever, malaise, cough, conjunctivitis, and rash, has been a growing concern in our developed country. In recent months, there have been outbreaks of the disease in the New York area. In 2018, New York and New Jersey accounted for more than half of the measles outbreaks in the United States. The virus can live in the air up to two hours where it has been sneezed or coughed. The control and treatment for measles have been growing ever important in this anti-vaccination movement.
Treatment for Measles
Vitamin A plays a critical role in preventing morbidity and mortality of this disease. Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body as well as supports the immune response, making it an effective treatment for measles. In one study done on 114 pediatric patients, decreased serum levels of vitamin A (serum vitamin <10 microliters/deciliter). was associated with illness severity. It is therefore important to maintain therapeutic levels of Vitamin A to stop the progression of the disease, enhance recovery and post-measles complications.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and WHO recommend that Vitamin A is administered to all children diagnosed with acute measles. The recommended dose is 100 000 IU by mouth at the time of diagnosis for infants younger than 12 months. Any child older than 12 months should be given 200 000 IU by mouth. Vitamin A is also available in low-cost liquid formulations and vitamin A supplemented formula is available. Measles symptoms can readily be contained with this inexpensive and natural nutrient!
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