measles during arbovirus outbreak: a diagnostic challenge

an interesting article by doctors at centre hospitalier territorial de nouvelle-calédonie

dengue fever is a major public health problem in new caledonia, like in many pacific islands countries and territories. in 2017 new caledonia faced multiple circulations of arboviruses with a major outbreak of dengue and a co-circulating zika virus. new caledonia is considered as a non-endemic territory for measles since the mid 1990’s.

a 41-year-old male presented fever, headache, sinusitis and exanthematous maculopapular rash and was eventually diagnosed with measles. diagnosis of measles during an arbovirus outbreak in a country where measles disease is rare can be a pitfall for healthcare professionals. the introduction of measles via returned travellers or tourists from areas where measles remains endemic is a real threat to countries with high vaccine coverage.

remember, medical students– fever + rash = measles until proven otherwise. put the patient on appropriate isolation precautions!

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new caldonia is an island between australia and fiji

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