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Am J Med. 1981 Oct;71(4):539-42.

Measles pneumonia in young adults. An analysis of 106 cases.


Measles occurred in 3,220 Air Force recruits between January 1976 and July 1979 and was complicated by pneumonia in 106 cases (3.3 percent). Although no deaths occurred, the illness was characterized as clinically severe with high fever and prolonged hospitalization (mean, 14.5 days). Bacterial superinfection as documented by transtracheal aspiration occurred in 35 cases (30.3 percent) and was caused by Hemophilus influenzae (18), Hemophilus parainfluenzae (two), Neisseria meningitidis (nine), Streptococcus pneumoniae (three), Streptococcus pyogenes (two) and Moraxella kingae (one). Clinical evidence of bronchospasm was present in 18 patients (17 percent) and required bronchodilators in six. Other complications included liver function abnormalities (31 percent), otitis media (29 percent) and sinusitis (25 percent). Measles pneumonia in adolescents is clinically severe with a generally benign outcome.

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