What is the relationship between measles and malnutrition?

There is a close and important relationship between measles and malnutrition (i.e. undernutrition).

Measles is far more severe in children who are malnourished, especially if they are also vitamin A deficient. In addition, complications are more common and more serious in malnourished children.

Measles, especially with complications such as diarrhoea, often results in failure to thrive. Measles may lead to kwashiorkor or marasmus in children who are underweight at the time that they get measles. Therefore, measles may result in, or aggravate, malnutrition.

Measles is more severe in malnourished children and may make the existing malnutrition worse.

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