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BMJ Case Rep. 2015 Sep 23;2015. pii: bcr2015211054. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2015-211054.

Atypical measles syndrome in adults: still around.

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Aix-Marseille Université, Unité de recherche sur les maladies infectieuses et tropicales émergentes, UM63, CNRS 7278, IRD 198, INSERM 1095, Marseille, France.
Service de maladies infectieuses, Hôpital Nord, Marseille, France.


Measles, a vaccine-preventable disease, is currently responsible for worldwide outbreaks mainly due to the failure to maintain high coverage of childhood immunisation. Atypical measles syndrome was first described in the 1960s in association with the inactivated measles vaccine. We report a case of atypical measles syndrome in a 29-year-old man without previous measles immunisation. He presented with fever, shortness of breath and a purpuric rash. Radiological investigations allowed the diagnosis of severe nodular pneumonia. Positive PCR in nasal and pharyngeal samples, and positive serology for a primary infection confirmed measles diagnosis. Both clinical symptoms and pulmonary nodules regressed spontaneously, whereas mediastinal lymph nodes increased and persisted up to 3 months after the primary infection. Physicians should be aware of the atypical measles syndrome presentation in order to limit the delay of diagnosis, to avoid unnecessary investigations and to prevent the potential spread of this infectious disease.

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