Study: Measles vax may protect against other infections
- New research shows that by blocking the measles infection, measles vaccines can protect children from other infectious diseases for up to three years.
- Immune amnesia occurs when the measles virus destroys immune cells, thereby rendering a child more vulnerable to other types of viral infections.
- This study is important in light of the burgeoning anti-vaccination trend in the U.S. Although measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, there were 686 cases of measles last year stemming from unvaccinated children.
Researchers have hypothesized that before the introduction of the measles vaccine in developed countries, up to 50% of childhood deaths were most likely attributable to childhood infectious diseases, such as pneumonia, sepsis, bronchitis, and diarrheal diseases.
According to the new study, the period of immune-related vulnerability lasts up to 28 months after a child has measles.