Parents, here are the symptoms of tigdas hangin in children that you should watch out for.
What can you read in this article?
- What is tigdas hangin?
- What are the symptoms for tigdas hangin in children
- How to protect your child from this disease
As our children grow up, they become exposed to so many things in their environment, including viruses. Especially if your child is at school age, he has a bigger chance of acquiring airborne diseases and viral infections. One of the most common viral infections among children is German measles.
What is Tigdas Hangin?
German measles or more commonly known in the Philippines as tigdas hangin, is a contagious viral disease that can cause rashes, as well as a mild fever. Despite the name, the virus that causes German measles is different from full-blown measles when it comes to symptoms and even the cause.
Preschool and school-aged children are commonly affected by this virus. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25 to 50 percent of people infected with rubella infection may not experience any symptoms.
Causes of German measles in children
Tigdas hangin is caused by the Rubella virus. This virus is highly contagious and can spread really fast through physical contact and air droplets. In other words, when you get exposed to someone with the virus, you can immediately get German measles.
Just like other viruses, those tiny drops from the nose of the infected one contains the virus. You can even get the virus by inhaling it.
Pregnant moms can also transmit the virus to their developing babies through the bloodstream. That’s why it’s important for women who are expecting a child to stay away from people who have German measles.
Tigdas Hangin | Image from Freepik
Symptoms of tigdas hangin in children
While German measles is highly contagious and very easy to catch, the symptoms can go unnoticed for the first few days. According to Healthline, the symptoms of tigdas hangin usually develop within two to three weeks after the exposure.
In some countries, German measles or tigdas hangin is also called the “three-day measles.” Dr. Regina Rachelle Naguit, a pediatrician from QualiMed Hospital at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, describes initial symptoms of tigdas hangin in children.
“Three days of fever, sometimes low-grade, but it’s accompanied by coughs and colds,” she said.
While cough and colds are usually common in viral infections affecting children, here are the other symptoms of tigdas hangin that you should watch out for:
German measles initially presents themselves in children with low-grade fever (a temperature of 38 degrees celsius and below). As mentioned, it is usually accompanied by a cough and a runny or stuffy nose.
Like other respiratory viral infections, your child might get a lymph node or kulani in Filipino. According to Dr. Naguit, the lymph nodes in tigdas hangin are usually found behind the ear or at the back of the neck.
Children get rashes for various reasons. So we asked Dr. Naguit to explain to us how rashes from German measles look like.
“‘Yong rashes are red na sometimes flat, sometimes may bump tapos parang nagko-coalesce or nagsasama-sama. Tapos the distribution bumababa rin siya,” she described.
As Dr. Naguit mentioned, the rash usually begins on the face and spreads downward to the rest of the body. This rash will be very itchy which will cause discomfort and irritability to your child.
Because of the rashes, your child might experience some allergy-like symptoms such as inflamed or red eyes.
German measles may also cause symptoms that are similar to the flu, like headache or muscle pain.
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Should I be worried if my child gets tigdas hangin?
To young children, German measles or tigdas hangin isn’t particularly dangerous. At most, an infected child would have rashes as well as a low fever if they get infected.
“It’s very benign. After three days of fever, cough, colds, rashes, wala na. Okay ka na,” said Dr. Naguit.
However, in rare cases, tigdas hangin can lead to ear infections and serious infections like brain swelling. This is why it’s very important to consult your child’s pediatrician if you suspect that your child has German measles. Call your doctor right away if you notice the following symptoms during or after your child has the infection:
- prolonged headache
- stiff neck
The biggest risk, however, is for unborn babies. In fact, the rubella vaccine was developed specifically so that pregnant women don’t acquire the infection, as women who were infected with rubella during the first trimester have an 85% chance of giving birth to a baby with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).
That’s why it’s important for pregnant mothers or mothers who wish to conceive, to get vaccinated against rubella in order to ensure that their babies won’t get serious complications from the disease.
For older babies, however, rubella is generally harmless, and moms shouldn’t be too worried about it.
Tigdas Hangin | Image from Freepik
How can it be treated?
For children with rubella, treatment is relatively straightforward. The first symptoms are usually red rashes throughout the body, and a fever. Rubella also usually goes away within 3 days, so make sure to give your child lots of fluids and let them get enough rest as well as a fever medicine.
According to WebMD, you can give your child paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring down your child’s fever. However, don’t give your child or teen aspirin because of the risk for a rare but serious condition called Reye’s syndrome. To be sure, consult your child’s pediatrician before giving him any medication.
Dr. Naguit adds that the treatment depends on the symptoms of tigdas hangin that’s present on your child, like the rashes, for instance.
“If the rashes will cause itching and discomfort, you may also give antihistamine as needed,” she said. The rashes may fade within three to five days.
She also reminds parents to continue making sure that the child is eating well and staying hydrated.
“Nourish the patient. It’s very important kasi at the end of the day, ‘yong katawan niya pa rin naman ang magfa-fight off ng infection. So continue feeding the patient.”
If possible, it would also be best if you can visit a doctor, since the symptoms of rubella, measles, and scarlet fever can be similar. So if you’re not sure if your child has rubella or not, it’s best to take them to a doctor just so you can rule out other illnesses. It also helps if you inform your doctor about it since there could possibly be an outbreak of rubella in your area.
Rubella is very contagious, so make sure your child stays at home so that they don’t infect other children. Don’t let your child go to school or come near a pregnant woman when he has German measles.
“Isolation is very important kasi airborne ‘yan and it’s highly contagious.” said Dr. Naguit.
A child is most contagious when the rash starts to appear. But he can also be contagious from 7 days before the rash to 7 days after the rash has started. Because of this, a child may have already passed the virus to others before you knew they are sick.
Tigdas Hangin | Image from Unsplash
How can it be prevented?
Nowadays, rubella is a rare occurrence since a rubella vaccine has already been developed. The vaccine is usually given between 12 and 15 months. And again between 4 and 6 years of age.
“Of course, prevention is better than cure. Better to get protected by getting the vaccine,” reminded Dr. Naguit.
Make sure that your child is vaccinated on time so that they won’t get infected by the virus. Vaccination also helps other kids from getting infected. So make it a point to get your child vaccinated against various diseases.
If you’re pregnant, you also need to get vaccinated in order to avoid being infected by rubella. Since it can cause a lot of complications for your unborn baby.
While the symptoms may be alarming and cause a lot of discomfort to your child, German measles is common and it can usually be treated at home with a lot of rest.
If you think your child is exhibiting symptoms of tigdas hangin, don’t hesitate to contact his pediatrician. If you’re pregnant and suspect that you might be infected with rubella infection, call your OB-Gynecologist right away.
Additional information by Camille Eusebio
Healthline.com, WebMD, CDC
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