|[October 01, 2013]
Global Virus Network Warns U.S. of Growing Measles Threat
BALTIMORE --(Business Wire)--
Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world's leading medical
virology research centers working to prevent illness and death from
viral disease, today warned the U.S. of a startling rise in measles
cases particularly in the last couple of years. Measles were eliminated
in the U.S. by 2000, but according to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control in the first eight months of 2013 the U.S. saw nearly 160 cases
of measles - which many believe will rise as a growing number of parents
choose not to vaccinate their children in which state law does not
"Measles is a dangerous disease. We lose sight of the dangers because
currently the disease is rare in the US and usually imported from other
countries where measles is more prevalent," explains Dr.
Diane Griffin, GVN Center of Excellence Director and Alfred and Jill
Sommer Professor and Chair, W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular
Biology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg (News - Alert) School of Public Health.
Griffin coninued, "While most cases resolve with no complications in
10-14 days, measles can cause diarrhea and ear infections, as well as
other serious side effects - seizures, pneumonia and encephalitis, which
can each lead to death. The most vulnerable in the US are those under
the age of 12 to 15 months, when the measles vaccine is usually given.
Infants are therefore at the highest risk. Those who do not vaccinate
their own children place infants of other families at risk as well as
their own children."
As experts and leading researchers on all viral diseases, GVN Centers of
Excellence are working to improve the measles vaccine and better
understand the complications of measles for the global population.
"There is still much to do in terms of improving vaccinations against
measles. While the two dose regimen provides protection for populations
when delivered appropriately, a single dose regimen would be ideal and
for developing countries a vaccine that did not need refrigeration or
require a needle and syringe would facilitate delivery," notes Professor
Griffin, whose own laboratory focuses on understanding how the body
responds to the measles vaccine to provide protection. She explained
further that research to develop a dry powder vaccine delivered by
inhalation is one promising line of research. The dry powder vaccine
uses the same safe live vaccine virus that is currently given by a shot,
but is given through a face mask. This way trained medical personnel,
refrigeration and needles and syringes are not required. The dry powder
vaccine is effective in animal models and is currently being tested in
For the looming situation in the United States, Professor Griffin
encouraged all families to ensure that their children are properly
vaccinated against measles. "We cannot sit back and wait for measles to
once again take hold in the United States," she warned.
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About Global Virus Network (GVN)
The Global Virus Network (GVN) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3)
organization, comprised of leading medical virologists from more than 20
countries. The GVN's mission is to combat current and emerging pandemic
viral threats through international collaborative research, training the
next generation of medical virologists, and advocacy. For more
information, please contact Nora Grannell at firstname.lastname@example.org
and visit www.gvn.org.
Follow us on Twitter (News - Alert) @GlobalVirusNews.
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