Because humans are the only hosts for measles virus, recovery from disease provides lifelong immunity, and the vaccine provides long-term protection from infection, measles eradication is feasible. Despite considerable effort, measles remains one of the 10 most important causes of death due to infectious diseases and one of the most common causes of vaccine-preventable death in children. Several factors make measles harder to eradicate than was smallpox, including its greater infectiousness and greater difficulties in administering the vaccine, in carrying out surveillance, and in detecting infected individuals. Vaccine coverage is complicated in developing countries by the need for two doses of vaccine and, in developed countries, by parents not allowing their children to be vaccinated; approaches to solving these problems include education programs and efforts to develop new vaccines and delivery methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas