Measles in the US & Results of a Human Study on Measles that Warrants Exploring

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Measles in the US & Results of a Human Study on Measles that Warrants Exploring

Measles Update:

As 2019 winds down in just a little over a week, there were less cases (8) in November 2019, than in any previous month in 2019 except September, which had 6 cases; October had 13.  It is still too early to report December’s numbers since reporting & recording to the CDC is only through Dec 5 at this time, but there are currently no reported cases for December.  Those numbers, as well as the total for the entire 2019 year, will be reported some time in the first weeks of January. Due to the holidays, reporting time to the CDC can be delayed.

As it stands, although cases numbers are still considered preliminary and can be adjusted, as of Dec 5, there have been a total of 1,276 confirmed measles cases throughout 31 states in the U.S.  The following states reported outbreaks, which are defined by 3 or more linked cases by time and specific geographic area:  California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York City, New York State, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.  There are no current outbreaks reported.

Of the 1,276 confirmed cases, there are also reports that 124 of them were hospitalized with 61 having reported complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis.  Some complications will have long term sequela.  Deaths can occur.  See this link for more specifics on cases/outbreaks:
https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html

A final tally of 2019 cases, as well as information from the cases and outbreaks, will be presented when the compilation of data is completed and posted by the CDC sometime in the new year.

Another Toll of Measles Infection:

A repercussion of Measles Infection, previously noticed anecdotally and epidemiologically but now studied and considered good science, is the loss of a certain amount of previously acquired immunity, via a loss of antibodies built through previous infections and vaccinations, resulting in a child (most likely, but could also apply to a person of any age), developing a microbial amnesia and being susceptible all over again to infections that they already had or had been immunized against.  This includes life-threatening illnesses such as RSV, influenzas, and other vaccine preventable illnesses.  The human study, a collaboration between NIH, several American medical universities and institutions in Boston, and a medical university in Rotterdam, Netherlands, showed that the measles virus seems to attack and eradicate, on average, about 40% of the child’s antibody memory, with larger losses seen in those with more severe infections.  Earlier animal studies pointed to this same phenomenon.

I won’t write more on the specifics of the study, or the actual mechanism at work, but will include several lay and medical articles links, written on the subject, for those that are interested in learning more.  Those that work within this science, and the public health officials and clinicians who work to keep children and other as healthy as possible, want to make sure that everyone is aware of this added risk to contracting measles, which should be mitigated with adequate measles vaccination.

NIH Pub Med Abstract of the Human Study Mentioned Above:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31672891

NIH Director on This Study (in easy to read terms) & His Personal Experience with Measles:
https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2019/11/12/how-measles-leaves-the-body-prone-to-future-infections/ 

Article on the Same Topic, written for ScienceMag.org, by Scientists, in a Readable Format:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/how-measles-causes-body-forget-past-infections-other-microbes

Article on the Same Topic, by National Geographic, also in a Readable Format:
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/03/measles-vaccine-protect-disease-immune-amnesia/

 

Download the pdf to this update

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