With all the craziness about the measles outbreaks in Calgary, particularly in restaurants. I figured a short article about what to look out for in your own health and in your children would be beneficial so that we can all stay as safe as possible. I've also included some general tips to keep your immune system in top form to deal with viral diseases such as measles.
What to look out for......
The symptoms of measles generally begin about 7-14 days after a person is infected, and include:
Three to five days after the start of symptoms, a red or reddish-brown rash appears. The rash usually begins on a person’s face at the hairline and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades. Most people recover after 2 weeks but some serious complications (including pneumonia, encephalitis and meningitis) can occur, especially in pregnant females, babies and the immunocompromised.
How to keep healthy.....
The average persons immune system is well equipped to deal with viral infections and most people are vaccinated for measles as part of the MMR vaccine. Unfortunately, some of the cases that are now occurring are in those who are vaccinated!
The best things we can do to fight viral infections involve the basics: eating well, lot's of veggies, reducing sugar consumption and avoiding stressors including alcohol and caffeine but what else can we do?
1) Vitamin A- a strong anti-viral vitamin that can also be taken in conjunction with Vitamins C, E and the minerals zinc and selenium to help build up the immune system.
2) Avoid sugar- SUGAR PARALYSES YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM FOR ABOUT 1 HOUR! What more do I have to say?
3) Wash your hands often- Keeping clean is important in the spread of all infectious diseases
4) Get adequate rest- A rested system is a happy system and ready to fight whatever comes it's way.
Frances Wang, ND
A naturopathic doctor and a mother who loves life, the outdoors and exercise.