Measles can cause long-term, irreparable damage to our body’s immune system, a new scientific study published by Science Immunology has reported.

The contagious, viral disease attacks our immune system’s memory, rendering it incapable of tackling other diseases.

The research, undertaken by medical institutions including the Wellcome Sanger Institute in England, provides more ammunition to pro-vaccination groups who encourage parents to immunise their children.

Around the world, measles rates are rapidly on the rise. Early data provided by the World Health Organizationexternal icon (WHO) has shown that, throughout the first six months of 2019 alone, more measles cases have been identified around the world than during any year since 2006.

Recently, the UK lost its measles-free rating after a rapid decrease in immunisation against MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella). Data gathered from the NHS has shown an overall loss of confidence by parents towards the effectiveness of vaccination.

“Countries such as the U.K. have lost their (measles) elimination status, while the U.S. saw record numbers of cases — and narrowly avoided losing elimination status. Vaccine hesitancy has taken its toll on measles vaccine confidence, and the world is dealing with an infection that should have been controlled decades ago,” he said.

Health Line