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Measles, the contagious childhood disease that is once more on the rise globally, is more harmful than previously thought.
A new analysis of 77 unvaccinated children from the Netherlands carried out by an international team of researchers led by scientists at Harvard has found that the virus erases the body's memory of previous pathogens -- effectively wiping its immunity memory.
The virus eliminated between 11 and 73 percent of the children's protective antibodies, blood proteins responsible for "remembering" previous encounters with disease, the team wrote in the journal Science on Thursday.
This left some of the children with immunity close to that of a newborn baby.