Measles outbreaks have potential to spread farther, and through more people, than we thought

People fully vaccinated against measles could lose some of that protection as they get older. That means teenagers, college students, and adults could, potentially, contract and pass along measles in outbreaks that begin with younger, unvaccinated children.

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  1. A few years prior to the current measles outbreak in Canada, there was an advisory for people born the 80s to get another MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) boost shot.

    Apparently the the vaccine given to the people of that era and area, was considered halved it's effectiveness.

    Makes me wonder if that also played a minor role to the "outbreak".

  2. Any information on whether people who got our measles immunity by getting the disease also lose it over time? (I'm of an age to have gotten measles before the vaccine came out.)

  3. I had measles (and most other childhood diseases) before vaccines for them existed. Ever since, I have been blissfully confident that I had nothing more to worry about. Recently I read a theory (from only one source) that in the pre-vaccine era people were regularly exposed to these pathogens after their initial recovery, giving their antibodies a natural boost. Now that these diseases are rarely encountered, even naturally-acquired immunity fades over time. Can anyone comment?

  4. sh!t.. does this mean I need to risk getting autism again? (wondering if I am stirring the bee's nest of anti-vaccination people)

  5. Vaccines have never been 100% effective. The big effect is "herd immunity." If an infected person would have spread the disease to 10 other people, but all are vaccinated using a vaccine with a 5% failure rate, then the victim will inflict, on average, only half a person. In other words, on averaage, 16 people will infect 8, who will then infect 4, who will then infect 2, who will infect 1, who has 1 50% shot of infecting another 1, and so on. On average, those 16 will spread the disease to only 16 others before the outbreak dies out. Even though vaccine failure may be devastating to the infected individual, even an imperfect vaccine can provide tremendous population to the population at large.

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