Common measles complications in children
In measles, the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissues. The most common complications in children are:
· Diarrhea – In 50% of children with measles, diarrhea can be severe and can cause life-threatening dehydration
· Ear infections – In 70% of children with measles, an ear infection occurs; in some cases, it can become chronic (lasting a long time)
· Pneumonia – In 10% of children with measles, pneumonia occurs; this is more common among young children and adults than among older children
· Encephalitis – This is inflammation of the brain and can occur in about 1 in 1,000 cases. It can lead to seizures, convulsions, or coma; it is most common among young children (less than 2 years old)
Some complications of measles only occur rarely:
· Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) – This is a rare form of progressive encephalitis (brain inflammation); it occurs several years after the initial infection. SSPE affects only people who have had measles and haven’t been vaccinated against measles or its cousin disease, mumps. Most people who get SSPE die within 1 to 3 years of getting symptoms.