Adult Measles â€“ Case Reports of a Highly Contagious Disease
BACKGROUND: Measles is highly contagious and is caused by the RNA morbillivirus. The best protection is active immunisation in early childhood. Without immunisation morbidity and mortality of measles are high. In recent years, an increasing number of adult measles has been recognised in Europe.
CASE REPORTS: We report here on two adult patients â€“ a 40-year-old male and a 55-year-old female â€“ who presented with fever, fatigue, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis and maculopapular rash. The suspicion of adult measles infection was confirmed by positivity for IgM antibodies against measles virus and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in blood and urine. Patients were isolated, and the treatment was symptomatic. In the younger patient, complete recovery was achieved within two weeks. In the older patient, an acute encephalopathy developed after initial improvement characterised by cognitive impairment.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients presenting with fever and maculopapular rash and fatigue, measles should be considered even in adult patients. Early diagnosis with subsequent isolation and registration of patients are important measures to prevent local outbreaks of the disease.
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