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Who is at Highest Risk for Suffering Complications from Measles?

Who is at highest risk for complications from measles?

Unvaccinated children under age 5 and adults over 20 are most at risk for complications from measles. Undernourished or vitamin A-deficient children are at highest risk of severe complications. Acute measles encephalitis is more common in adults than children, and subclinical hepatitis occurs in about 30 percent of adult measles patients.

Immunocompromised individuals are also at higher risk of complications from measles, including those with HIV infection, congenital immunodeficiencies, and those persons with disorders requiring chemotherapeutic and immunosuppressive therapy.1, 2

Studies also show that complication rates and deaths are significantly higher, and recovery times longer, in infants and children who acquire measles in healthcare settings such as hospitals.3

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Measles and the Measles vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents , which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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1 Infection Research. Measles. No Date.  

2 Sabella C. Measles: Not Just a Childhood Rash. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. March 2010. Vol. 77 3 207-213.  

3 Markowitz LE, Preblud SR, Orenstein WA, et al. Patterns of Transmission in Measles Outbreaks in the United States, 1985-1986. N Engl J Med 1989; 320:75-81. Jan 12, 1989.  

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