The Great Measles Misunderstanding
|The Great Measles Misunderstanding|
planetc1.com-news@9:58 pm PST
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|Before the advent of the measles vaccine, a dozen or so cases of measles would have been considered, well, too measly to make the headlines. That is because we all got the measles when we were kids. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers anyone born before 1957 to be immune to the measles.|
"Before a vaccine was available, infection with measles virus was nearly universal during childhood with more than 90 percent of persons immune by age 15 years," according to the CDC's Pink Book.
We baby boomers were apparently the last generation whose doctors, and therefore parents, accepted the measles aentire s just one more annoying rite of passage of childhood that also happened to prime the immune system and provide lifelong immunity.
Medical texts prior to the advent of the vaccine described measles as a benign, self-limiting childhood infectious disease that posed little risk to the average well-nourished child. All of that changed about 40 years ago when health authorities decreed the need to eradicate the measles, and so began The Great Measles Massacre.
The recent measles outbreak in Southern California provides an opportunity to review how effective the overall strategy of measles eradication has been so far.