8 votes

The great measles immunity heist


  1. skybrian
    From the article: […] […]

    From the article:

    In 1954 the agent, a morbillivirus, was isolated. The vaccine that came within a decade of that discovery had soon reduced measles incidence by an order of magnitude.

    It was also observed to have a profound and unexpected impact on mortality from all infectious diseases, preventing about five times as many deaths as measles itself would have caused.
    It turns out that behind the wheezles and sneezles and rash, the measles virus quietly destroys the patient’s acquired protection against other, more deadly, infections.


    In a 2015 paper, Professor Mina and his team took datasets on measles and mortality from England, Wales, the US and Denmark, spanning the pre- and post-vaccine eras. Using complex analytical procedures they found each measles epidemic correlated with a period of greater infectious disease mortality two to three years later. For comparison, there was no such link with pertussis.

    Measles, they concluded, may once have been implicated in up to half of all childhood infectious disease deaths.


    There were 140,000 measles deaths in 2018, the WHO said in December, and the outbreaks continued throughout last year: Madagascar had more than 140,000 confirmed cases; in Democratic Republic of Congo measles killed three times as many people as Ebola; Ukraine has become the “measles capital of Europe” with 115,000 cases since 2017. The US had declared measles eliminated in 2000, but after more than 1200 cases in 2019 it nearly had to surrender this status.

    4 votes
  2. DonQuixote
    This is a very eye opening article and I encourage all to read it.

    This is a very eye opening article and I encourage all to read it.

    2 votes