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Every second measles patient is an adult.
Not only children get measles, but adults too. This was the result of an evaluation by the German employee health insurance (DAK). Measles in adults is a serious medical condition that can take a severe course of the disease.
In the DAK evaluation of the past two years, a total of 360 DAK insured people contracted measles. The surprising; About half of them were already adults and the other half of measles patients were children. The DAK assumes that the number of unreported cases is far higher. If people fall ill with measles in adulthood, the course of the disease is often more serious and dangerous than in childhood. This is also reported by Dr. Elisabeth Thomas from the DAK: "Measles are not a minor illness. When adults fall ill, the course is usually even more difficult than in children. Complications such as pneumonia or brain infection are also more common."
Parents should therefore check their vaccination status and that of their children, according to the urgent appeal by the health insurance company DAK. The analysis suggests that a certain vaccination fatigue prevails. In 2008, a total of 9227 adult DAK insureds were vaccinated, in 2009 there were only 706. The Standing Vaccination Commission had only recently recommended that young adults should have their vaccination status checked. It is primarily about the 1970 and younger age groups.
What are the symptoms of measles? In addition to the typical red skin spots, measles also causes fever and a very poor and weakened general condition. However, measles is not an easy childhood illness. In some cases, serious and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and brain infections can occur. A total of 915 measles cases were reported in 2008, compared to 6037 in 2001. (sb)