Visit Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Section ⇒

Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Measles Complications Can Affect Every Organ: Study

Measles Complications Can Affect Every Organ: Study

TUESDAY, Feb. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis, appendicitis and viral meningitis are among the serious complications that can occur when you get the measles, doctors warn in a new report.

The study -- which outlines cases involving three adults who developed major complications -- is also a reminder of the importance of vaccination against the illness.

Measles is highly contagious, but it's also easily prevented by getting a vaccine, experts note.

However, unfounded fears about vaccination have resulted in reemergence of measles as a global health problem, the authors of the new study said.

Measles was once thought to be almost eliminated in the United States, but cases have been increasing as pockets of "anti-vaxxers" proliferate. In 2019, nearly 1,300 cases were reported -- the most since 1992, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles can also become a serious health threat, as the three cases outlined in the new European report show. The research was led by Dr. Thelma Xerri, from the Departments of Medicine and Infectious Disease at Mater Dei Hospital in Msida, Malta.

While typical symptoms include fever, cough, pink eye and an extensive rash, measles suppresses the immune system and has been linked with complications in every organ of the body.

One case in this report involved a young man who had received only the first of two measles shots as a child. He developed hepatitis as a result of a measles infection.

In another case, a young woman developed appendicitis, and a third involved a middle-aged man who complained of blurred vision and severe headache. He was diagnosed with viral meningitis, caused by measles.

All three made a full recovery and had no long-lasting health problems, according to the report published Feb. 17 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Overall, nearly one-third of reported measles cases are associated with one or more complications, the researchers saId.

According to the report, other potential measles complications include: pneumonia; seizures; encephalomyelitis, an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that causes neurological problems; and SSPE (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis), a progressive neurological disorder that causes permanent nervous system damage and leads to a vegetative state.

In 2017, measles killed 110,000 people worldwide, most of them young children.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on measles.

SOURCE: BMJ Case Reports, news release, Feb. 17, 2020

Reviewed Date: --

Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Dr. Rana Ammoury
Dr. Orhan Atay
Dr. Michael Konikoff
Dr. Sameer Lapsia
Dr. V. Marc Tsou
Dr. Nancy Yokois
Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Dr. Angela Duff Hogan
Dr. Cynthia Kelly
Dr. Kelly Maples
Dr. Lindsey Moore
Dr. Maripaz Morales
Dr. Lauren Smith
Infectious Disease
Dr. Andres Alarcon
Dr. Kenji Cunnion
Dr. Randall Fisher
Dr. Laura Sass
Children's Cardiac Surgery
Dr. James Gangemi
Dr. Philip Smith
Childrens Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Dr. James Bennett
Dr. J. Marc Cardelia
Dr. Bettina Gyr
Dr. Peter Moskal
Dr. Cara Novick
Dr. Carl St. Remy
Dr. Allison Tenfelde
Dr. Adam Conley
Dr. Joseph Dilustro
Dr. Kimberly Mackey
Plastic and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. George Hoerr
Dr. Jesus (Jegit) Inciong
Dr. Edward Santee
Pediatric Surgery
Dr. Duane Duke
Dr. Frazier Frantz
Dr. Michael Goretsky
Dr. Kendall Jones
Dr. Donald Kauder
Dr. Robert Kelly
Dr. M. Ann Kuhn
Dr. Margaret McGuire
Dr. Robert Obermeyer
Dr. Leonard Weireter
Children's Urology
Dr. Michael Carr
Dr. Charles Horton Jr.
Dr. Jyoti Upadhyay
Dr. Louis Wojcik
Health Tips
A Simple Way to Keep the Flu Away
What Every Parent Should Know About Immunizations
Appendix Quiz
Immunization Quiz
Infant Vaccine Quiz
Prevention Guidelines for Children from Birth to Age 2
Prevention Guidelines for Men 18 to 39
Prevention Guidelines for Women 18 to 39
Prevention Guidelines for Women 40 to 49
Prevention Guidelines for Women 50 to 64
Prevention Guidelines for Women 65+
Diseases & Conditions
Appendicitis in Children
Childhood Immunizations
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)
Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib)
Hepatitis in Children
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Liver Disorders
Measles (Rubeola) in Children
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
Meningitis in Children
Pneumococcal Infection in Children
Polio (IPV)

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.