Measles complications can affect adults long after treating the childhood disease.
(Mirror Daily, United States) American researchers announce that measles is not something that patients should take for granted. They say that complications with the disease can turn out to be fatal. What’s more, the condition can strike even after recovery. Doctors explain that it could even take years before the disease made its comeback.
Researchers in San Francisco and Los Angeles investigated measles complications, and they found out they can be deadly. No less than sixteen patients have recently died because of it. The victims were both children and adults, as specialists state.
The recent victims were all diagnosed with the form of measles when it comes back. It is called SSPE, which is short from subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. Health experts explain that the infection which causes measles lingers in the brain of patients long after treatment and recovery.
Measles is a condition that affects children. It is associated with red marks on their bodies and high fever. It is also believed that this one of the diseases that can never affect the same patient again. However, although treated in childhood, it seems like the disease can make a comeback and strike again when the patients are adults. Doctors are surprised by this reaction and haven’t found the causes which trigger the condition.
The American researchers were also surprised to find out that measles complications occur far more often that anyone might have expected. Previous studies in Europe also account for the finding.
Health experts say that the infection which causes measles gets into the human organism and can spread to several areas and organs. It can also reach the nervous system and stay hidden until it suddenly reactivates itself.
The subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) manifests violently through seizures, which lead to coma, and eventually cause the death of the patient. Despite the studies that account for the measles complications and its dangerous comeback, no proper treatment has been developed yet.
The first studies on the matter suggested that only one in one hundred thousand patients who had measles can develop SSPE. However, the recent review shows that the risk is much higher, with one in six hundred patients experiencing the comeback. What’s more, children younger than five years of age who had measles are also exposed to the risk of the reactivated infection. Hence one in one thousand four hundred young patients is diagnosed with SSPE.
Image courtesy of: Flickr