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Source: Papers On Health
An attack of this disease generally begins with a feeling of
weariness. Then it appears as running and irritation of the eyes and
nostrils, at which stage it is often taken for a common cold, the
symptoms being very similar. Then this irritation spreads more or less
over all the breathing apparatus, and finally the eruption appears in
smaller or larger red patches, sometimes almost covering the face and
other parts. The usual advice given is to keep the sufferer warm. It is
good to do this so far as avoiding chills is concerned, but if the
room be overheated and kept close and dark, only harm will ensue. The
blinds of the windows should be kept drawn up to their full height, to
admit as much light as possible. Fresh air should be admitted by
keeping windows open. If the patient complains of sore eyes, these may
be shaded by a screen, but not by lowering the blinds. This admission
of free air and light is a very great preventive of the "dregs" which
form so troublesome a feature in measles. The room can easily be kept
sufficiently warm by fire in winter, even if the window be open. The
patient must not be allowed to read or use his eyes much, or very
serious mischief may ensue.
When it first appears in eyes and nose, a good large BRAN POULTICE
(see) should be placed at the back of the neck and down between the
shoulders. Cold cloths should then be pressed over the brow and upper
face. Do this for an hour. Give to drink lemon or orange drinks (see
Drinks), taken hot, and in small quantities at a time. If this
treatment is well done several times, the trouble may possibly be
checked at the beginning. Where it has gone further, and cough shows
irritation of the air tubes and lungs, then foment the feet and legs
while applying cold cloths over the chest, as in BRONCHITIS (see). If
there be fever, and no signs of rash, then, to bring it out, pack in
the SOAPY BLANKET (see). Where this cannot well be done, a most
effectual pack is a small sheet wrung out of warm water and wrapped
round the whole body, with a blanket wrapped well round it outside to
retain the steam about the skin. But the soap is better. As a rule,
there is not much need for further treatment when the rash fully
develops. If, however, fever still remains, rub all over with hot
vinegar. This is best done in the evening.
When all fever has subsided, a good rubbing of the back only may be
given with warm olive oil. This may be done once a day. The feet should
be watched lest they get clammy or cold.
For food, wheaten-meal porridge and milk food generally is the best. Do
not give too much food at first, and keep the bowels well open.