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Measles

[Gunstige effecten van vitamine A bij mazeleninfectie.]

de Meer K; Roord JJ
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2000 Feb 5;144(6):287-8

The recent measles epidemic that hit the Netherlands in 1999 resulted in numerous hospitalisations and several fatalities, and resembled the previous epidemic of 1987-1988 in numbers and severity. The triple (parotitis epidemica, measles, and rubella) vaccine used in the nationwide, free-of-charge immunization programme is highly effective, but is not accepted for ideological reasons by specific groups in the Dutch community. High oral doses of vitamin A have been shown to reduce mortality and pulmonary and gastrointestinal complications of measles in children in developing countries, but this treatment option is little known to physicians in the Netherlands. The appropriate dose regimens for safe administration of vitamin A in complicated measles are: age under 6 months 50,000 IU, age between 6 months and 2 years 100,000 IU, and age over 2 years 200,000 IU, administered by mouth upon admission. A repeated dose can be administered on the following day. In the Netherlands, and elsewhere, universal measles immunisation remains the first goal in the fight against this highly contagious disease.

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