CDC reports measles fatality in France

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a fatality from measles with acute respiratory distress syndrome but no rash in a 29-year-old woman in France.

The death was reported in the CDC's Emerging Infectious Diseases report on Wednesday. The victim received outpatient care with an anti-infective agent and oral prednisone for weight loss, diarrhea, coryza, cough and fever, and was admitted to the hospital five days later with persistent illness, HealthDay reports.

Lab tests could not find evidence of an underlying immunosuppressive disease and indicated an acute viral infection. The patient experienced severe respiratory failure three days after admission to the hospital and was transferred to an intensive care unit.

On the sixth day, a serological investigation determined that the patient was fighting the measles virus. Despite treatment with ribavirin, corticosteroids and intravenous immunoglobulin, the patient died.

"This unusual case underscores the need for physicians to consider the diagnosis of measles, even in the absence of classical clinical features, during measles outbreaks," the authors wrote, according to HealthDay. "It also reemphasizes the insufficient vaccination coverage against measles in France."

According to the report, the measles strain was genotyped as D4, which is an epidemic strain currently circulating in France and Europe at large. The patient did not present a rash and had no documented history of vaccination against measles.