What are the complications of measles?

  • Otitis media
  • Laryngotracheobronchitis with a severe cough and stridor (measles croup)
  • Pneumonia. This may be viral (measles, herpes or adenovirus) or bacterial
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Oral herpes or candidiasis (thrush)
  • Keratitis (infection of the cornea) with possible corneal ulcers due to measles or herpes virus
  • Encephalitis (rare but serious)
  • Reactivation of tuberculosis
  • Immunosuppression

Measles depresses the immune system resulting in other infections such as herpes stomatitis and adenoviral pneumonia. HIV infection may rapidly progress to AIDS while tuberculosis is often reactivated following measles. The Mantoux skin test may be negative despite active tuberculosis for a few months after measles.

Measles complications may be severe and result in death.

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