Season 2

Episode 21 Measles: The Worst Souvenir

You’ve seen the recent headlines and heard the news reports, but they’re only part of this deadly virus’s story. This week we’re covering the rest. We take you on a one-of-a-kind tour of measles, exploring how this vaccine-preventable virus can wriggle its way into your cells and cause short-term misery and long-term damage. Then we trace the history of this notorious killer from its bovine beginnings to the devastation it wreaked on unexposed populations. The tour ends with a look at measles by the numbers around the world today. If you take home one souvenir from this tour, let it be gratitude for vaccines!

History Biology
Measles: An Historical Geography of A Major Human Viral Disease by Andrew Cliff, Peter Haggett, and Matthew Smallman-Raynor Mina, Michael J., et al. “Long-term measles-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality.” Science 348.6235 (2015): 694-699.
Morens, David M. “Measles in Fiji, 1875: thoughts on the history of emerging infectious diseases.” Pacific Health Dialog 5 (1998): 119-128. Moss, William J., and Diane E. Griffin. “Global measles elimination.” Nature Reviews Microbiology 4.12 (2006): 900.
Cambridge World History of Human Disease edited by Kenneth Kiple Clemmons, Nakia S., et al. “Incidence of measles in the United States, 2001-2015.” Jama 318.13 (2017): 1279-1281.
Global Measles and Rubella UpdateJune  2018, WHO
Olive, Jacqueline K., et al. “The state of the antivaccine movement in the United States: A focused examination of nonmedical exemptions in states and counties.” PLoS medicine 15.6 (2018): e1002578.