In Europe, where there have been over 26,000 cases of measles so far this year, there have been a fair share of severe cases of measles. In fact, in France, where there have been just over 14,000 cases, there have been 6 deaths. Another death was reported in Germany, where there have been 1,361 cases.
Other severe cases of measles have included:
- 615 cases of pneumonia and 15 cases of encephalitis associated with measles in France
- 48 cases of pneumonia, 3 cases of encephalitis, 2 cases of seizures, and reports of 2 pregnant women who had spontaneous abortions and 2 more who had premature deliveries because they got measles while pregnant - Italy 2010
- 582 cases of pneumonia and 2 cases of encephalitis in Romania
Although pneumonia may not sound that serious to the average parent, reviewing what recently happened to a one-year-old with measles might change their mind. While his siblings are vaccinated, his mother wasn't aware that he needed an MMR vaccine too, even though he was traveling to Kenya when he was just 9-months-old. She thought he could wait until he got his routine shots after his first birthday, unaware of the latest guidelines to get infants vaccinated as early as 6 months if they are traveling out of the country.
Unfortunately, the toddler was hospitalized with measles shortly after returning to Minnesota, and days after his first birthday. His case was complicated by pneumonia, which is likely why he quickly ended up in the hospital's intensive care unit. He remained on a ventilator in the ICU for over two weeks, where doctors were not sure that he would survive.
While still hospitalized and on oxygen, he is recovering well now. He will hopefully get out of the hospital next week, about a month after he was first admitted.
Some people continue to claim that measles is a mild infection. Others knows just how dangerous those claims can be.