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Measles protect children against allergies

Children who've been infected with measles are less likely to develop allergies.

Measles protect children against allergies

Children who've been infected with measles are less likely to develop allergies. The occurrence of allergic disorders has increased during past decades, coinciding with reduced rates of many childhood infections and increasing use of vaccinations. Previous studies looking for any link between allergies, measles infection, and measles vaccination have produced positive, negative and neutral results. Researchers from Europe studied 14,893 children, 5 to 13 years of age. They focused on children brought up in a farming and 'anthroposophic' lifestyle. An anthroposophic lifestyle typically makes less use of antibiotics, medication to treat fevers, and vaccinations. The questionnaire responses indicated that 73 percent of children were vaccinated against measles, 20 percent had been infected with measles (including 11 percent of vaccinated children), and 14 percent had been neither vaccinated nor naturally infected. It was found that among the children who never had measles infection, those who had been vaccinated were more likely to have nasal allergies. Further analysis showed that allergies were less likely in children who had had a bout of measles, but not in those who had been vaccinated against measles.
Pediatrics
March 2009
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