New research reveals that the measles virus, if infected, can cause long term problems with the immune system. Even after you recover, the immune system is left weaker than before for several years which can make you vulnerable to other infections such as flu and pneumonia. The virus kills cells that apparently make antibodies leading to “immune amnesia”.
How do you know if you are immune?
1. Written documentation of age-appropriate vaccination
2. Laboratory test of immunity
3. Laboratory confirmation of having the disease
4. Even if born before 1957, you still need to have documentation of 2 vaccinations or antibody titers that show immunity.
Complications of adult measles can lead to pneumonia. One in 1000 adults will get encephalitis (brain infection).
One-two in 1000 children will die.
We have seen epidemic cases of measles this year in the U.S. as well as Europe. Of those infected, 71% were unvaccinated.
Make sure you have immunity to prevent acute and long-term complications.