A Measles Mystery: How Could the Vaccine Prevent Deaths from Other Diseases Too?

By Michael Mina, Postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University and MD/PhD candidate at Emory University

If infectious diseases were a monarchy, measles might be king. Not only does measles reign among the most contagious diseases known to man – likely to infect any non-vaccinated individual who stands in the same room as an infected person – measles has long been known to be one of the great killers of children. Before vaccination, measles was responsible for millions of childhood deaths. Today it remains a cause of great illness and death in low-resource countries, killing over 140,000 children worldwide every year. [Read more…]