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Presse Med. 2011 Nov;40(11):1001-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2011.07.002. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

[Measles and pregnancy].

[Article in French]

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Faculté de médecine, université Paris-Descartes, Paris, France.


Because of insufficient vaccine coverage, there is an outbreak of measles since 2008 in France with an increasing incidence of cases, most of them among children less than 1 year old or young adults. When measles occurs during pregnancy, maternal and fetal morbidity is increased. Particularly pregnant women are exposed to a higher risk of severe respiratory distress that might cause death. Measles virus can be detected in the placenta. Placental infection appears to be involved in some cases of fetal death. The virus is not responsible for congenital defects but can induce histologic damages inside the placenta which may lead to fetal death. Major perinatal risks are also miscarriage and prematurity. When measles occurs in late pregnancy, congenital infection is possible with variable expression and a risk of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. Non immune pregnant women or neonates exposed to measles should receive an immunoglobulin prophylaxis within 6 days after contact in order to reduce the risk of infection and severe morbidity. In case of declared measles infection, symptomatic treatment can be proposed and tocolysis can be used if preterm labor is associated. Daily fetal monitoring during the 14 days following the beginning of the eruption can be offered when the fetus is viable. Vaccination is recommended for the people born in France after 1980 with 2 doses of vaccine against measles, rubeola and mumps. Measles vaccine, an attenuated living vaccine, should not be administered during pregnancy but must be proposed before pregnancy or during the post-partum period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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