Measles wipe immune system’s memory of other illnesses, studies find

(CNN)Measles can erase the immune system’s memory, leaving us vulnerable to diseases we were previously protected against, new research has found. “Imagine that your immunity against pathogens is like carrying around a book of photographs of criminals, and someone punched a bunch of holes in it,” said Michael Mina, one of the study’s primary authors, in a Harvard Medical School press release. “It would then be much harder to recognize that criminal if you saw them, especially if the holes are punched over important features for recognition, like the eyes or mouth.” Surviving measles patients do eventually regain these lost immunities — but they need to be re-exposed to the illnesses to build up those defenses. It’s as if you …