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Measles Drains Healing Capability of the Body Finds New Study

Those who have suffered measles infection know how annoying it is. However, a new study shows it is capable of doing more harm to health than what most people think. It can affect the capability of the immune system in the body to remember how to battle other germs. So, this denotes the kids afflicted with the infection become more susceptible to other germs. This is what the scientists are calling immune amnesia. While the body can rebuild such defensive tactics, it can be pretty time-consuming.

The medical community thinks this discovery is a worrisome development. Harvard’s school of public health’s Dr. Michael Mina said it could be rather scary given the resurgence of measles. He is the lead author of the study, which got published in the journal Science. This can skip the attention of most doctors who treat the kids for specific ailments. They can be at a loss to understand if the affected child is born with weak immunity or left vulnerable owing to the onslaught of measles on the immune system. This can have implications on the accuracy of determining the proper treatment methods.

For this study, the Harvard team took blood samples of 77 kids post and before a measles outbreak, which took place in the Netherlands. It took place in an unvaccinated community. They searched for the antibodies known for remembering bacteria and viruses for safeguarding the body from infections. They saw that after recovery, the kids had enough antibodies to fight measles, but the ones they had earlier to combat other types of germs plummeted. Stephen Elledge, a senior author of this study, said the affected kids were similar to infants in terms of immune system condition. Incidentally, the study findings got support from another study, which got published in Science Immunology. Health experts who were not involved with the studies supported the findings while stressing the importance of vaccinating kids against measles.