ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Measles (Rubeola): Clinical Significance Of Its Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment And Prevention

Updated on March 25, 2014

Pneumonia Complicates Measles


Complications Of Measles

These are common, though in the majority, the disease is self-limiting. Respiratory complications include croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis and rarely, interstitial giant cell Pneumonia. These are more common in immunocompromised persons and malnourished children. The eye lesion may progress to corneal ulceration, keratitis and blindness. Myocarditis develops in 20% of cases and this cause transient ECG changes, but clinical this may remain silent. Acute abdominal pain may occur due to mesenteric lymphadenitis. In pregnant women, fetal loss may occur in 20%

Secondary bacterial pneumonia by staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus and H. influenza is common and may progress to lung abscess and empyema. Otitis media may develop commonly. Stomatitis may develop and progress to cancrum orits, especially in malnourished children. Quiescent tuberculous lesions may flare up or fresh tuberculous infection may develop.

Encephlomyelitis, another serious complication occurs in 1/1000 patients, usually occurring 4 to 7 days after the appearance of the eruption. It is characterized by high fever, headache, drowsiness and coma ending fatally in 10% of cases. Progressive encephalitis may develop in 1 to 6 month after measles in immunosuppressed children. Subacute slcerorising panencephalitis (SSPE) which is a late complication of measles is characterized by progressive dementia and motor weakness.

Measles Prevention: Administration Of Gamma Globulin 0.25 ml/Kg Within 5 Days Of Exposure


Diagnosis, Treatment And prophylaxis Of Measles

Laboratory investigations are essential in diagnosing atypical cases and also for differentiating measles from rubella. Leucopenia is frequent in the early stages. Leucocytosis occurs with secondary bacterial infection. Cerebrospinal fluid shows raised protein and lymphocytosis in encephalomyelitis. Demonstration of multinucleated giant cells in Giemsa stained smears of nasal secretions is a simple side room laboratory test. Virus antigen can be detected in the cells by immunofluoresence. Virus can be isoltated in human embryonic kidney and amnion cells.

Demonstration of rising antibody levels by complement fixation test, hemagglutination inhibition test and neutralization test in paired sera help to make serological diagnosis.

Differential diagnosis: Rubella has to be differentiated from measles. Rubella is a milder illness of short duration without significant respiratory complaints,. Infectious mononucleosis, toxoplasmosis, secondary syphilis, adenovirus and enterovirus infectious, scarlet fever and drug rashes have to be differentiated.

Treatment And Prevention

Treatment: There is no specific drug against the virus and therefore management is symptomatic. Bacterial infection has to be treated with antibiotics based on clinical and bacteriological findings. Children who continue to be ill after an attack of measles should be investigated for the presence of tuberculosis.

Prevention: Administration of gamma globulin 0.25 ml/Kg within 5 days of exposure effectively prevents or reduce the attack. Children below three years, pregnant women, immunocompromised persons and those who suffer from tuberculosis should be given gammaglobulin for passive immunization.

Live attenuated measles vaccine, prepared from Admonston B strains of measles virus is used for active immunization. Immunity lasts for a period of about 10 years. In general, children below the age 1 are not vaccinated. If they have to be vaccinated under special circunstances, a second dose should be given at the age of 15 to 18 months. The vaccine may be given alone or in combination with rubella and mumps vaccines. Vaccination is leukemia, lumphoma and immunocompromised patients.

© 2014 Funom Theophilus Makama


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)