In the malignant form all the symptoms are of a severe type. Occasionally catarrhal affections of the air passages, croup or pulmonary inflammation supervene, and the patient succumbs.
Other concurrent forms of disease are whooping cough, diphtheria, pulmonary consumption, inflammation of the eyes, ear disease, and swelling of the glands.
Measles demand no distinctive treatment. The room must be well ventilated, with a temperature of about 60 deg., and light must be almost totally excluded. At night no lamp should be allowed.
Treatment and diet should be the same as in scarlet fever.
German Measles (Rubella or Roetheln), is an eruptive form of children’s disease, much more harmless than the disturbances previously depicted. It is one which occurs in epidemics, but to which children individually are largely susceptible; the actual contagium thereof, however, is likewise unknown to science.
Eight days generally intervene between the time of infection and the breaking out of the rash.
During this period no acute symptom is noticeable. In the majority of cases the fever that precedes the eruption is not high; headache, cold and sorethroat accompany the appearances of the rash, which in this case breaks out at once, and not after several days, as in the case of actual measles. The spots are about the size of lentils, and are quite deep red, appearing first upon the face.
After the rash has been out for one or two days, it gradually becomes paler, the fever goes down, and recovery progresses rapidly, usually without any after effects.
It is not necessary for the patient to remain in bed longer than three or four days; nevertheless, the treatment should be just the same as prescribed in the case of the real measles, so as not to leave any weakness or subsequent complication.
There are many other forms of disease, besides these, which are likewise accompanied by fever and a rash, which also appear in epidemics and are evidently due to a great variety of causes. As they, however, invariably run the natural course, I shall not dwell upon them here.
Chicken-pox, or Varicella, of which the contagium also remains a mystery, is another infectious eruptive form of disease, peculiar to children. It begins with the appearance of a number of little pigmented elevations on the skin which develop into vesicles and pustules. After a certain period they become encrusted with scabs, which dry up and fall off. When the pustules are deep-seated, small scars remain There is no fever, and the illness is over in about fourteen days. The contagion passes through personal contact, or through clothing and bed linen.
If symptoms are severe enough to require it, treatment should follow the directions for scarlet fever.