Beacon Transcript – A new study goes to show that a deadly measles complication, or SSPE, is far more common and potentially more widespread than it was thought before.
After the U.S. was faced, back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, with a major measles outbreak, many thought that the virus, once cured would stop affecting the body and disappear.
However, recent studies show that the situation might be quite the other way around as a number of 16 SSPE-related cases, a deadly measles complications, led scientists to re-analyze the pre-existing data.
SSPE, or subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, is a condition caused by the measles virus. The condition is believed to be caused by the virus’s remaining in the brain after a child was treated and believed to be cured.
For reasons yet unknown, the measles virus could reactivate years later and have deadly outcomes as there are no known cases of SSPE cures.
SSPE can lead to seizures, followed by coma, and eventually death, after it causes an inexplicable immune response. Currently, there is no known treatment.
The deadly measles complication has been known and thought to be rare, however, recent studies undertaken in Germany and California warn that the condition is far more frequent that it was believed to be.
The Californian research led to the discovery of at least 16 cases of SSPE deaths in San Francisco and Los Angeles, all discovered after autopsy, with a 17th case being in hospice right now.
The complication, which was initially estimated to affect 1 in about 100,000, was revealed by the Californian study to be far more common.
The study approximates that, in California, 1 out of 600 measles patients develop SSPE, a general value being of 1 in 1,400 people developing the complication.
The 17 Californian cases were reported from 1998 to 2015 and include both children and three adults. All known cases are reported to have had measles before getting vaccinated.
Measles can now be easily controlled or prevented through vaccination even though it is one of the most infectious and easily transmittable viruses encountered as yet. As it is air-borne, most un-vaccinated people are likely to catch the virus.
This usually spreads throughout the body, a large amount being deposited in the central nervous system. As most people’s immune systems eliminate the measles virus and cure it from the body, the deadly measles complication is still possible as the virus is not only cleared out.
With common measles symptoms including a distinctive rash, irritated eyes, and high fever, they can lead to more serious complication including pneumonia, blindness, and encephalitis, and also death.
As SSPE is far more common that thought and even measles in themselves being capable of great damages, doctors urge people to get the full vaccines, as it the safest and surest way of escaping the disease and the deadly measles complications.
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