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Case report
Complications of measles: a case series
  1. Thelma Xerri1,
  2. Nicola Darmanin1,
  3. Maria Alessandra Zammit2 and
  4. Claudia Fsadni2
  1. 1 Department of Medicine, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  2. 2 Department of Infectious Disease, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thelma Xerri; thelmaxerri{at}


Measles, which was once thought to be a disappearing viral infection due to effective vaccination, has been re-emerging globally, with increasing cases in adolescents and adults. This has been attributed to anti-vaccination campaigning in the early 21st century, which has resulted in a drop in overall herd immunity. In this case series we report three patients with complications secondary to measles who presented to a hospital in Malta in 2019. Through this series, we discuss the range of possible complications caused by the measles virus, ranging from mild viraemic symptoms to multiorgan involvement which could possibly lead to high-dependency care and may even be fatal. We also highlight recent global statistics which reflect the exponential increase in the incidence of measles, with a special focus on Europe. It is emphasised that vaccine education and compliance with the two-dose measles vaccine should be implemented worldwide.

  • vaccination/immunisation
  • infectious diseases
  • infections

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  • Contributors All authors accept full responsibility for the work and contributed to the writing and correction of the manuscript as well as being involved in the treatment of the patients. TX and ND had the idea for the case series and wrote the article, including a literature search. MAZ and CF made amendments and suggestions contributing to the final article. Images were provided by TX and ND.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.