Measles-Induced Immune Amnesia
The measles virus may erase immune memory, leaving patients vulnerable to other childhood infections for up to three years
Michael Schubert |
The measles vaccine has been around, in one form or another, for over 50 years. Ever since its introduction, we’ve seen a striking reduction in childhood morbidity and mortality – by as much as 90 percent in impoverished populations (1), but the revolutionary effects aren’t limited to developing countries. Even in the United States, it’s estimated that the first 20 years of measles vaccination prevented 52 million cases and over 5,000 deaths, saving the healthcare system about US$5 billion (2). But the benefits of the vaccine aren’t fully explained by its prevention of measles infections – so what accounts for the profound effect of measles vaccination on children’s health?
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