Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2000;6(4) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


A healthy 13-year-old boy who had spent the first 4.5 years of his life in an orphanage in Thailand before adoption by an American couple became ill with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and died several months later. The boy had most likely contracted wild-type measles in Thailand. Measles complications are a risk in international adoptions.


Undiagnosed infections in internationally adopted children have been receiving increasing attention throughout the past decade. HIV, hepatitis viruses, Treponema pallidum, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and intestinal parasites frequently complicate such adoptions[1,2]. Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a postinfectious neurologic complication of measles, can also occur. We describe a fatal case of SSPE in an internationally adopted child 9 years after he arrived in the United States.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: