Measles-ravaged immune system must ‘relearn’ how to protect the body against infections.
Over the past decade, evidence has mounted that the measles vaccine protects in not one but two ways: Not only does it prevent the well-known acute illness with spots and fever that frequently sends children to the hospital, but it also appears to protect from other infections over the long term.
How does this work? Some researchers have suggested that the vaccine gives a general boost to the immune system. Others have hypothesized that the vaccine’s extended protective effects stem from preventing measles infection itself. According to this theory, the virus can impair the body’s immune memory, causing so-called immune amnesia. Read more