Measles, or Rubeola, a contagious disease, accompanied with inflammatory fever, sneezing, de-fluxion of a thin humour from the eyes, and a dry hoarse cough.-On the fourth day, or sometimes later, sma!l clustered pimples break out on the skin, but which generally dis-appear in three or four days, leaving behind branny or mealy scales.
The measles bear great resemblance to the small-pox; and likewise affect a person once only during his life. They are most frequent among children in the spring, but, if properly managed, seldom prove fatal.
The disease commences with a fit of shivering, succeeded by intense heat, thirst, anxiety, sickness, and vomiting, which vary in different constitutions. The eyelids are swelled; the eyes partially inflamed, and weeping ; a constant drowsiness prevails; and, on the fourth day the pustules appear first on the face, and gradually spread over the whole body. The vomiting ceases, but the fever, : cough, and difficulty of breathing, are increased. In the course of three or four days the pimples assume a pale colour, and by the ninth or tenth, are not to be perceived. But, the fever, and other symptoms will not abate so early, if the patient be not sufficiently cool: they are sometimes succeeded by an alarming and dangerous looseness, which may terminate in ' death, unless the strictest attention be paid to the whole state of the disorder.
Cure:- As the measles are of an inflammatory nature, it will, in some instances, be necessary first to bleed the patient, especially if the fever be violent; though that operation is, in general, neither necessary nor advisable.
In mild cases, it will be sufficient to keep the patient's body open, by means of tamarinds, manna, or other gentle laxatives ; and to supply him frequently with barley-water, linseed-tea sweetened with honey, or other cooling and mucilaginous drinks. Considerable benefit will result from bathing the feet in warm water ; and, if there be a disposition to vomit, it ought to be promoted by the liberal use of luke-warm water, or chamomile tea. The dry cough will be greatly relieved by gentle opiates, if used with due precaution, in preference to the oily or demulcent draughts given on such occasions.
The most fatal period of the measles, however, is at the crisis, or turn: should the fever then become violent, and the patient be in danger of suffocation, relief may be obtained by repeated venesection and blisters. If, nevertheless, the disorder appear to affect the intenor organs, or strike inward, the imminent danger may .sometimes be averted,by applying blisters both to the arms and legs, and briskly rubbing the whole body with warm iels.
The patient's regimen, throughout this disorder, ought to be strictly cooling. His food should be light, and the drink may consist of barley -water, balm-tea, infusions of linseed, or other diluent liquids, sweetened with a little ho-ney. When the malignity of the disorder is subdued, it will be advisable to administer a few gentle.' laxatives ; and, if it be attended with a debilitating diarrhoea, this may be mitigated by taking a few grains of rhubarb every morning, and gentle opiates every night. The diet should uniformly be light, though nourishing ; and the patient will also derive great benefit from frequent exercise in the country air.