Tuesday , July 27 2021

The war to end all measles

Every time it aggravates children or adolescents or young adults, there is an opportunity for some of the most contagious infectious diseases to take advantage of those that are susceptible. This was true in World War I, where the life of large cabins and the transport of troopships contributed to the virulent spread of the flu of 1918, which unlike most strains of influenza was more deadly for those healthier than for the elderly.

Many universities require a specific list of vaccinations before students stay in the dormitories, including the meningococcal vaccine to prevent bacterial meningitis. But the measles-rubella vaccine vaccine is always at the top of the list. This is because the measles is so contagious that if the immunity of herds, when a large percentage of the population is protected by immunization, falls to some percentage points, the measles virus can be fully exploited.

"The first things you see, the cracks in your public health system," said Dr. Ratner, will be infections like this, "measles, infectious through the respiratory route and good relocation of people susceptible to susceptible people."

When my daughter left college, someone looked carefully at their immunization records, definitely accepted in their school, and found that their first MMR had been given a couple of months before their first anniversary, and therefore did not count; He had to go to receive a dose more before taking over the residence in his bedroom.

He had asked for the MMR for the first time, because we would take it to travel in a country where there was still a danger of exposure to measles (no, not Brooklyn) at that time. You can administer the MMR from 6 months if the child has a higher risk of measles exposure and provides some protection, but the shot must repeat after the child has met 1. I forgot to do this and no one had ever noticed. As the pediatric mother of the child with the record of incomplete vaccines, I am a little ashamed, but above all impressed.

Dr. Stimson observed that WWII soldiers who grew up in more isolated, usually rural, circumstances were less likely to be immune to childhood illnesses and "when thousands of these rural youths join for the first time Army camps, contagious diseases They are apt to be very common, "he said. This was also observed in the American Civil War, when measles was a particularly devastating disease and the recruits that left the farm were especially vulnerable.

The 1918 boys came into terrible danger (Dr. Stimson himself was injured in action in Flanders, serving with British troops), but they were also in danger because they were exposed to viruses and bacteria on the other.

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