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Measles outbreak in Garden State

Alistair Forrest forrest at biosci.uq.oz.au
Tue Apr 5 03:09:58 EST 1994

Anne Savitt <asavitt at sunysb.edu> writes:

>In article <2nhi2d$ir at research-01.mskcc.org> sjeffrey.mskcc.org,  writes:
>>I think the problem with the re-emergence of measles is not really
>>attributed to a large amount of unvaccinated people, but the
>>ineffectiveness of the vaccine distributed back in the 60's.  I'm not
>>sure, but I believe the immunity attained was transient ( 7yrs ?) and
>>there have been several drives to get the people in that age group

I beleive the vaccinations were given when the children were too young, the
circulating maternal antibodies mopped up the viral antigens before the
children's immune system had achance to respond to it. There were also
people who were assumed to have already had the disease because of the
probability of being at a particular age and not having been exposed to the
infection was considered unlikely.

>I!ll take this question one step further - what about people who actually
>HAD measles (I did in the 50!s)?  Are we at risk at this point?

It is very unlikely people who have had the disease will become re-infected,
the immunity induced by the infection is longer lasting and stronger than that produced by the attenuated vaccine strain.

Alistair Forrest

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