Measles: Not Just A Childhood Rash.

Tuesday, 19th of November 2013 Print
[source]Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine[|source]

Although measles is generally considered a disease of children, it affects people of all ages. While the incidence of measles in the United States is significantly lower than in 1963, when an effective measles vaccine was first introduced, recent increases in the number of sporadic cases and community outbreaks in adults show that measles is still a significant health problem.

In this report, the authors document that measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases, with a secondary attack rate of at least 90% in susceptible household contacts. Second, authors assert that most reported cases of measles since 1993 have been directly or indirectly linked to international travel, and many have occurred in adults. The report concludes that acute measles encephalitis, a neurologic complication of measles, is more common in adults than in children and is characterized by the resurgence of fever during the convalescent phase, along with headaches, seizures, and altered consciousness. More details are available at


In recent years, the number of US measles cases has increased, and outbreaks in adults continue to be reported in communities with a high number of unvaccinated people. These trends underscore the need for high overall measles vaccination coverage, and for physicians to entertain the diagnosis of measles in adult patients with a febrile illness and rash.

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