Impact and longevity of measles-associated immune suppression: a matched cohort study using data from the THIN general practice database in the UK
Measles is a highly contagious childhood disease. During the prevaccine era, nearly every child acquired measles before the age of 15 years. A key characteristic of the disease is a transient immune suppression, causing increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections. As a result, measles is often complicated by pneumonia, diarrhoea or otitis media, which may lead to severe and even fatal disease. The introduction of measles-containing vaccines has reduced measles incidence as well as childhood mortality. Interestingly, this reduction in childhood mortality is stronger than what would have been expected based on measles mortality in unvaccinated populations.