What causes complications in measles?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Most complications of measles occur because the measles virus suppresses the host’s immune responses, resulting in a reactivation of latent infections or superinfection by a bacterial pathogen. Consequently, pneumonia, whether due to the measles virus itself, to tuberculosis, to or another bacterial etiology, is the most frequent complication. Pleural effusion, hilar lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, hyperesthesia, and paresthesia may also be noted.


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