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Measles in pregnancy


Measles is becoming more prevalent; it can be difficult to diagnose, with severe complications in pregnancy. We report a case of measles in a 27-year-old, parainfluenza virus type 2-infected woman who was 32 weeks pregnant. She presented with fever, tachycardia, sore throat and a pruritic rash. She never had the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine. Serology showed raised inflammatory markers with lymphopoenia. Throat swab showed parainfluenza virus. Chest radiography was normal. Despite appropriate antimicrobial therapy, she developed worsening respiratory failure requiring premature delivery via caesarean section.

Postoperatively, she was transferred to a tertiary centre for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. She was decannulated and made a full recovery. Meanwhile, her husband was diagnosed with measles. She was then tested and measles was confirmed. The baby did not develop congenital measles.

This case emphasises the importance of vaccine histories at booking of pregnancy and early multidisciplinary team input to facilitate delivery in rapidly deteriorating pregnant women.

  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • pregnancy
  • infections
  • TB and other respiratory infections
  • vaccination/immunisation

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