Measles Causes More Deaths

Measles leads to deaths from other causes for three years after infection

Measles leads to deaths from other causes for three years after infection

While the anti-vaccination crowd loves to point out that the 169 people who contracted measles in the US in 2015 didn’t die from measles, what they don’t know is that for the next two and a half years those people are more prone to die from infection than at any time in their life.

It turns out getting measles makes a person prone to other diseases. Vaccination prevents this.

After the introduction of measles vaccine in the 1960’s doctors notice a reduction in deaths from other infectious diseases of those who were vaccinated. This data was thought to be a quirk until a recent group of scientists found that the measles virus weakens the immune system of the people it infects. Vaccinating against measles not only protects against measles but against a number of other infectious diseases.

In fact children who develop measles are immunosuppressed and prone to other infections for over two years after developing measles. Half of the deaths from infectious diseases after contracting measles are due to this long-term immunosuppression from measles.

Put another way – get measles- you are more likely to die from a disease in the two years after measles than from measles itself.  Measles vaccine protects against not only measles, but the problem of suppressing the immune system for the next two years.

Get your children vaccinated.


Long-term measles-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality
Michael J. Mina, C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Rik L. de Swart, A. D. M. E. Osterhaus, and Bryan T. Grenfell
Science 8 May 2015: 694-699. [DOI:10.1126/science.aaa3662]

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, a renowned weight loss surgeon, is a leading advocate of culinary medicine. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit