I was fascinated as well as horrified to read that getting the measles leaves an individual with a compromised immune system that increases vulnerability to other infections like flu and pneumonia. The measles makes the immune system forget all the antibodies it has built up against diseases already encountered, leaving the post-measles sufferer at risk to catch diseases they already had. Boy, is that unfair, as well as dangerous. This phenomenon is called “Immunity Amnesia”
I remember getting chickenpox, measles, rubella, mumps, and roseola. I remember polio vaccine in a sugar cube, as well as a small pox booster. I didn’t run into anyone who had a bad experience with these childhood illnesses until I encountered some middle aged and elderly developmentally disabled folks in our area who contracted measles or scarlet fever as very young children long before there were vaccines and were left with serious intellectual and developmental disabilities. How tragic, and how wonderful we have vaccines now.
What do you remember about childhood illnesses?