Questions for ‘Measles can harm a child’s defense against other serious infections’


A measles infection can bring a rash, fever, cough and sore eyes. Other impacts of the virus, though, can last years after those initial symptoms are gone, scientists are finding.

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To accompany feature “Measles can harm a child’s defense against other serious infections” 


Before Reading

1.  What do you know about the measles? What concerns do people have about the disease?

2.  Why is it that for many diseases, once you get them you never seem to get them again?

During Reading 

1.  What’s the idea of immune “memory”? How might immune “amnesia” now leave people vulnerable to increased sickness?

2.  How long can measles viruses released in a sneeze survive in air?

3.  What is CD150, where is it and how does it relate to potential viral disease?

4.  What are some side effects of a measles infection (besides the normal symptoms of rash and fever)?

5.  How did de Swart’s team work within a community of Orthodox Protestants in the Netherlands to find out what cells the measles virus targets? And what cells are those?

6.  What did Michael Mina and his colleagues learn by studying measles in the United Kingdom about potential impacts that might show up months or years after the initial infection?

7. What surprising thing did they learn about impacts on death rates?

After Reading

1.  What does this story suggest about the overall advantages of getting vaccinated against measles? Hint: Some people have argued that measles is not a serious disease.

2.  Compare and contrast the nature of measles symptoms and the longterm non-measles impacts of a measles infection in some children. Which seem most important? Explain your reasoning.