By Alexandra Pattillo: For More Info, Go Here…
Measles is one of the most contagious viruses known to man. It spreads like wildfire — if you catch it, it can spread quickly to other people through coughing and sneezing, infecting between 12 to 18 others.
But the virus may be even more harmful than previously thought, causing potentially deadly damage to immune memory, according to new research.
Two investigations into a recent measles outbreak in the Netherlands, revealed that the virus deletes parts of the immune system’s memory, much like wiping a hard drive. That leaves patients vulnerable to a host of other infections, bacteria, pathogens, and diseases. The investigations were published in the journals Science and Science Immunology.
“You’ve lost the knowledge that you had learned previously to protect you in the future,” Stephen Elledge, Ph.D. a researcher at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a co-author on the Science study, tells Inverse. “It’s like if you lost your memory about what to do when you cross the street. If you had to cross the street again, you’re at risk. You have to relearn how to do it.”
The immune system still functions: it attacks antigens and fights infection much in the same way it did before encountering the measles. But it won’t have the same knowledge, developed from previous attacks, to ward off repeat assaults.