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Deadly Measles Complication Killed Patients Years Later

A deadly complication related to measles may not be as rare as doctors once thought. The complication is fatal and incurable. At least 16 people in Los Angeles and San Francisco have died from it.

The condition is called, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis or SSPE. Studies from the University of California cite that it is "caused when the measles virus stays in the brain, usually for years, after a young child is infected and has recovered." Researchers have been unable to understand why it may "reawaken and causes an immune response that leads to seizures, coma and death." There is no known cure and nobody who has contracted SSPE has survived.

Dr. Gary Marshall of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study says, "Not only is SSPE still here and still diagnosed but it actually may be more common than we thought it was."

by RTT Staff Writer

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