The recent media hype over measles outbreaks has prompted several of my patients to ask: should I be worried? My short answer: No, the concern over measles is unfounded. Here’s why:

Epidemic or Media Hype?

Short answer? Media hype.

This presentation provides an excellent summary of measles statistics over the last 100 years, illustrating why concern about the recent measles outbreak is unfounded:

Measles versus the Measles Vaccine

deaths_in_the_us_during_the_past_10_years_due_to_measles
This article, “ZERO U.S. Measles Deaths in 10 Years, but Over 100 Measles Vaccine Deaths Reported” from Health Impact News, March 23, 2015, provides statistics about measles deaths versus deaths from the measles vaccine, with sources.

But what if my child gets measles?

Don’t panic—mothers have successfully nursed children through measles for decades before the measles vaccine was invented! You can confidently nurse a healthy child through measles without pharmaceuticals. Here are some tips:

Release your Fear of Fever

Measles often brings on a high fever. Fever occurs as part of the body’s natural defense mechanism. During the course of an illness, the release of pyrogens causes the temperature to rise, while stimulating white blood cells to work to destroy bacteria and viruses. Supressing a fever with drugs like acetaminophen also supresses the body’s ability to fight the measles virus. If you feel that your child’s fever has gotten “too high” or their behaviour has become concerning, homeopathic remedies offer a safe option for lowering the fever a couple of degrees—to increase comfort without halting the immune system’s ability to fight the virus.

Allow Symptoms to be Expressed

As stated above, fever plays an important role in fighting the measles virus. Cough and the red measles rash also serve important roles in the healing process. Suppressing these symptoms can lead to complications like bronchopheumonia. Do not administer cough suppressing syrups nor slather the rash with creams—these symptoms provide paths for detoxification.

Plenty of Fluids

Patients can become dehydrated during fever. Ensuring your child gets plenty of soothing fluids will ensure they do not become dehydrated. Avoid all processed juices or any beverage high in sugar. Stick to basic liquids like filtered or spring water with a pinch of unprocessed sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Calm, Attentive Care

Children need close, attentive care and sympathy when they are sick. Do not leave your child alone. Closely watching over them will ensure that you do not miss any concerning symptoms and provide them with the reassurance and love they need to feel safe and comforted.

Benefits to getting measles, really?

Yes. There is a significant body of evidence indicating that childhood diseases like measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox actually benefit our long-term health. Here’s how:

Lifetime Immunity

Vaccines artificially stimulate the body to produce antibodies against a given virus or bacteria for a limited time. However, true, natural immunity involves much more than simple antibody production. Naturally fighting a “wild” (not vaccine strain) illness provides your child with full lifetime immunity to it, which would naturally be strengthened or “boosted” when they nurse their children through the illness as adults.

Developmental Leaps

Many parents have reported observing their children experience significant leaps in development after recovering from measles and other childhood viruses. When a person contracts such an illness, connections in the brain are actually broken through the course of the illness. At first glance, one would assume these “broken pathways” are detrimental. However, they actually provide the brain with the opportunity to rewire pathways more effectively afterward, leading to developmental leaps in the process.

Protection Against More Dangerous Diseases

There is significant evidence that these childhood illnesses provide long-term protection against more deadly illnesses like cancer. This webpage provides a list of links to articles indicating health benefits resulting from measles infection:

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/keyword/health-benefits-measles-infection

Conclusion

You needn’t fear measles—treated appropriately, it is a normal childhood disease that confers lifetime immunity and may very well benefit your child’s development and long-term health.