Living with a suppressed immune systems up to three years and not one or two months as previously believed is what would happen to children affected by the measles virus, a new research has uncovered.
The measles virus is known to cast a deadly pall on youngsters by temporarily destroying their immune systems, making them susceptible to other deadly illnesses.
A longer-term state of “immune amnesia,” may be experienced by the patient, where indispensable memory cells protecting the body from infectious diseases are somewhat wiped out, according to a findings of a current study.
“We already know measles attacks immune memory, and that it’s immunosuppressive for a short amount of time. But paper suggests that immune suppression lasts longer than previously suspected,” co-author and assistant professor at Princeton University, C. Jessica Metcalf said.
“In other words, if you get measles, three years down the road, you could die from something that you would not die from had you not been infected with measles,” Metcalf added.
“Our findings suggest that measles vaccines have benefits that extend beyond just protecting against measles itself,” said Michael Mina, lead author of the study which appeared in the journal Science and a medical student at Emory University.
Mina examined population data available from the US, Denmark and Britain and speculated on the rapidity of the immune system’s ability to become broadly protective again after measles attacks.
Mortality among children from ages one and nine in Europe, and one and fourteen in the US, in the pre and post vaccination periods, were scrutinzed by the researchers.
The research disclosed a resilient relationship between occurrence of measles and deaths from other diseases, rendering a “lag period” that average around 28 months after contacting measles.
The result of the finding is consistent with all age clusters in the three countries and also consistent in pre- and post-vaccine eras.