#Canada; #HealthCanada; #measlesInfection; #HospitalForSickChildren; #InfantsMoreSusceptibletoMeasles, #PublicHealthOntario
Toronto, Nov 21 (Canadian-Media): Findings of Toronto researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children and Public Health Ontario said that infants are more vulnerable to measles infection than previously thought is, media reports said.
Measles is an infectious viral disease causing fever and a red rash on the skin, typically occurring in childhood and Measles and can cause severe complications including pneumonia, encephalitis and death.
Vast majority of 196 infants studied were susceptible to measles infection by three months of age and none of them were immune at six months.
The findings rule out that most babies are protected in their first year by maternal antibodies passed on through pregnancy.
In Canada, measles vaccines are not administered to babies until they are 12 months old resulting in an alarming wide susceptibility gap, study's senior author said.
Although most Canadian women of childbearing age are immune through vaccination immunization through vaccine is associated with lower antibody levels than natural infection.
"This is really troubling because measles is a serious disease, and it can be quite serious in infants," said Shelly Bolotin, a scientist at Public Health Ontario and also an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the University of Toronto.
"It can be absolutely devastating and we need to make sure that we are protecting our most vulnerable members of our population — infants."
Bolotin said the Toronto study is unique in measuring antibodies at each month of an infant's life from birth to 12 months.
As of late last week, Bolotin said there have been 112 cases of measles in Canada this year, majority of them imported or import-related.