1. Dan Wilson

    Dan Wilson Active Member

    In 2018, we witnessed outbreaks and increased reports of measles cases across the United States. These outbreaks are driven by two causes that are not mutually exclusive 1) Travelers returning from areas where measles is common or 2) Communities with lower vaccination rates. As a result, communities where vaccination among children are lower than surrounding areas face blame. https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html#outbreaks
    In the wake of these outbreaks and media attention, many individuals choosing not to vaccinate their children against diseases like measles have stood their ground. In defense of this position, some have claimed that natural immunity to measles is a good thing that leads to an overall better immune system. Recently, Darla Shine, wife of the current White House deputy chief of staff for communications, gained media attention for taking this stance in a series of tweets. https://www.thedailybeast.com/darla...fficial-goes-on-pro-measles-anti-vaccine-rant
    Shine goes on to cite a story where a young girl's multiple myeloma went into remission thanks to measles. Here, we will examine Shine's two claims about measles improving health and fighting cancer.

    Does measles make you healthy? No.
    Being infected with measles is dangerous. Not only can it result in death, measles can also cause complications that leave permanent damage. https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/complications.html
    But what if you survive measles complication free? Is your immune system stronger? The answer turns out to be the exact opposite. In every country, measles vaccines are associated with decrease risk of death from all disease (see attached). A team of scientists from four different institutions investigated this correlation and found that being infected with measles actually creates a sort of "immune amnesia" where the patient is more likely to be infected and die of other infectious disease over the next 2 to 3 years. http://science.sciencemag.org/conte...XTNJz8cryXD8XpGAhhmDUGfqPJyv2DIFdTF4Uxcxu7lPI
    They also did performed their same studies on pertussis and found this effect to be specific for measles. Science does not support the idea that natural measles infection holds any benefit.

    Can natural measles infections fight cancer? Not really.
    Doctors have long noticed that a variety of viral infections can cause temporary improvements in cancer patients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5086626/
    The story that Shine cited in her tweets, however, has a happier ending. https://returntonow.net/2019/02/09/...Wz2H-wu3yK7XLAZzpp_OSA2Kxz_K_em9h9osVSPpvZ1r0
    But there are a few big problems with using stories like this to say that natural measles infections should come back. A very important detail in the story that Shine pointed to is that the measles virus being used for treatment was not a natural one.
    In other words, the virus used to cure this patient's cancer is the same that would be used in a vaccine. So, it could be argued that a heavy dose of measles vaccine actually has the potential to treat certain cancers. Virotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that is currently being heavily studied and a weakened, non-infectious form of virus is used in every case. That is because a real, natural infection holds too much risk and no sensible doctor would ever recommend one.

    Measles is dangerous, deadly, and leaves lasting negative effects on patients. Vaccinating against measles is one of the best things you can do for your health.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  2. Sagittarius

    Sagittarius Member

    I'm a bit puzzled by your section on the life-long effects of measles. I have to say, it's news to me. If you grew up in the 50s and 60s, as I did, before the vaccination existed, you caught measles, as I did, along with my brother, my relatives, my schoolmates, etc. I'm now in my mid-sixties, and have been very healthy throughout my life, as have all my relatives. Are you sure that claim is accurate?
     
  3. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    The poster supplied evidence. Do you have contrary evidence?
     
  4. Sagittarius

    Sagittarius Member

    My own experience of excellent health.
     
  5. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    One data point is hardly persuasive.
     
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  6. Dan Wilson

    Dan Wilson Active Member

    The effects are not life-long, sorry if that was unclear. The evidence suggests that measles infection negatively effects immune memory and it takes time to rebuild this memory. Researchers have concluded that, following measles infection, you are more likely to die from other infectious disease within the next 2-3 years.
     
  7. Sagittarius

    Sagittarius Member

    Thanks for clarifying.