<< Vaccine-Preventable Diseases In Pediatric Patients: A Review Of Measles, Mumps, Rubella, And Varicella


General Treatment

For measles, mumps, and rubella, treatment is mainly supportive: hydration, nutrition, and oxygen, if necessary. There is no role for antivirals in the treatment of these diseases. Antibiotics should be prescribed for identified presumed bacterial complications of each viral infection, such as otitis media and pneumonia. However, antibiotics should not be prescribed to prevent these secondary infections. Analgesia and antipyretics should be used to relieve pain and fever. Typically, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are used to relieve pain and fever associated with these viruses. Stronger analgesics (such as opioids) may be necessary for moderate to severe pain, but they can cause sedation and respiratory depression in high doses. Respiratory complications are common and are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. If tachypnea or hypoxia is present, oxygen should be administered. Another common complication with any pediatric disease process is dehydration. Oral, nasogastric, or intravenous hydration should be instituted, as indicated, in patients with a history of poor feeding, diarrhea, vomiting, or decreased urination or physical signs of dry mucous membranes, delayed capillary refill, or concentrated urine.

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