Fast Five Quiz: Measles Key Aspects

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


November 25, 2020

Treatment of measles is essentially supportive care with maintenance of good hydration and replacement of fluids lost through diarrhea or emesis. Intravenous rehydration may be necessary if dehydration is severe.

Vitamin A supplementation in patients with measles has been associated with significant reductions in morbidity and mortality and appears to help prevent eye damage and blindness. Because vitamin A deficiency is associated with severe disease from measles, the World Health Organization recommends all children diagnosed with measles should receive vitamin A supplementation. Adults who have measles should also be considered for vitamin A supplementation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people exposed to measles who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should be offered postexposure prophylaxis. To potentially provide protection or modify the clinical course of disease among susceptible persons, the MMR vaccine should be administered within 72 hours of initial measles exposure or immunoglobulin within 6 days of exposure. Do not administer MMR vaccine and immunoglobulin simultaneously, because this practice invalidates the vaccine.

Measles virus is susceptible to ribavirin in vitro. Although ribavirin (either intravenous or aerosolized) has been used to treat severely affected and immunocompromised adults with acute measles or subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, it is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for this indication, and such use should be considered experimental.

Read more about the treatment of measles.

This Fast Five Quiz was excerpted and adapted from the Medscape Drugs & Diseases articles Measles and Never Seen Measles? 5 Things to Know.

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