Measles Makes You More Susceptible to Other Diseases?

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Playing How the Measles Virus Makes You Susceptible to Other Diseases

Could having the measles cause immune amnesia and leave you more vulnerable to illnesses and diseases you previously had? The Doctors welcome pediatrician Dr. Eric Ball to explain.

Watch: Measles Outbreak Caused by People Opting Not to Vaccinate?

The pediatrician says the immune system can remember fighting off past illnesses and creates memory cells that contain antibodies that live in your body for decades. These antibodies are able to fight off illnesses you have already battled before making you sick. He says researchers have discovered that measles kills off some of those memory cells and can possibly cause someone to be susceptible to childhood diseases again.

Watch: Measles Is One of the Most Contagious Diseases in the World

He notes that upwards of 70 percent of someone's immune memory can be wiped out by having the measles. Dr. Ball stresses that getting the measles vaccine does not cause damage to someone's immune memory, and actually improves someone's immune system

He also shares that the death rate for other diseases (like pneumonia and diarrheal diseases) drops in people who receive the measles vaccine and implores parents to protect their children and get the vital vaccine.

Get more information and resources on the measles vaccine from the CDC.

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