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Sun May 26, 2019, 02:39 PM

Measles erases the immune system's memory


Beyond the rash, the infection makes it harder for the body to remember and attack other invaders
BY LAURA SANDERS 6:00AM, MAY 21, 2019


The most iconic thing about measles is the rash — red, livid splotches that make infection painfully visible.

But that rash, and even the fever, coughing and watery, sore eyes, are all distractions from the virus’s real harm — an all-out attack on the immune system.

Measles silently wipes clean the immune system’s memory of past infections. In this way, the virus can cast a long and dangerous shadow for months, or even years, scientists are finding. The resulting “immune amnesia” leaves people vulnerable to other viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia, ear infections and diarrhea.

Those aftereffects make measles “the furthest thing from benign,” says infectious disease epidemiologist and pathologist Michael Mina of Harvard University. “It really puts you at increased susceptibility for everything else.” And that has big consequences, recent studies show.

More:
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/measles-immune-system-memory-infection?utm_source=Editors_Picks&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorspicks052619

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Reply Measles erases the immune system's memory (Original post)
Judi Lynn May 2019 OP
ROB-ROX May 2019 #1
Rural_Progressive May 2019 #5
oasis May 2019 #2
Igel May 2019 #3
Delmette2.0 May 2019 #4
ananda May 2019 #6
mountain grammy May 2019 #7
MarvinGardens May 2019 #8
Javaman May 2019 #9

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 03:03 PM

1. I am so glad I had this illness as a child.

In the 50's I remember lining up with other children and getting the shots required to immunize us youngsters. I was infected with the "normal" childhood illnesses. We were not covered for all vaccinations because there were none or money. I am in my late 60's and my body feels like I am in my 30's. I jog, visit the gym, etc. Good luck to those who did not get "regular" health care in the past or today......

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Response to ROB-ROX (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2019, 04:41 PM

5. I had both varieties of measles

can't remember getting early childhood vaccines but I do remember getting my polio vaccines on sugar cubes. Glad to have skipped getting that nasty one. I'll be 67 this August, still do everything I need to around the farm, just a bit slower than I did 15 to 20 years ago. I attribute it to eating food we raise, clean air and water, and I got lucky in the gene pool lottery.

Glad to hear you are doing well!!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 03:14 PM

2. Scary!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 04:17 PM

4. "This Podcast will kill you"

Talked about exactly this, wiping out a person's immune memory.

Hosted by two graduate students in epidemiology. These women poke a bit of fun at diseases, perhaps a gray sense of humor (not black humor) but all of it is informative!!

There are less than 30 podcasts right now and a new one is added about every two weeks. They give a history of the disease, descriptions and symptoms. They give you a refreshed appreciation of mrdical science.

I recommend starting with their first podcast to learn more about them.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:00 PM

6. I was seven when I had a rather mild case of the measles.

I played in the backyard bc my mother kept me home from school.

I don't know if it wiped out my immune system or not.

That's fuckin scary, for sure... especially if you get it later rather
than sooner.

I do remember getting booster shots for DPT and polio, so maybe
that's why I ended up OK.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:24 PM

7. I was 7 when I had the measles

recovered fine, then got scarlet fever and was very sick. With no proof, my mom always said the measles gave me scarlet fever. Turns out, she just may have been right,

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:24 PM

8. Other viruses can do this too.

Not to diminish measles. We have a vaccine for that one for a reason. Infectious mononucleosis, caused by Eppstein-Barr virus (EBV), suppresses the immune system. When I had it in my early 30s, they gave antibiotics as a precaution against opportunistic infections. I have read some speculation that it may cause some immunosuppression for life, since we become lifetime carriers once we've had it. I wish there were a vacvine for that one. HTLV-1 also causes immunosuppression, but is not as widespread as EBV. And of course there's HIV, the big one. For sure we need a vacvine for that, and I know they're working on it.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 07:30 AM

9. you mean anti-vaxxers memories?

couldn't resist.

Get your booster shots. I did.

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