New York Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Woman

Pic: CDC (PD)

Pic: CDC (PD)

“Measles Mary” had been fully vaccinated against the disease, yet still managed to contract it and spread it to others. (They should have know that was going to happen. I mean, her name is “Measles Mary”. Come on…)

Via Science:

Get the measles vaccine, and you won’t get the measles—or give it to anyone else. Right? Well, not always. A person fully vaccinated against measles has contracted the disease and passed it on to others. The startling case study contradicts received wisdom about the vaccine and suggests that a recent swell of measles outbreaks in developed nations could mean more illnesses even among the vaccinated.

When it comes to the measles vaccine, two shots are better than one. Most people in the United States are initially vaccinated against the virus shortly after their first birthday and return for a booster shot as a toddler. Less than 1% of people who get both shots will contract the potentially lethal skin and respiratory infection. And even if a fully vaccinated person does become infected—a rare situation known as “vaccine failure”—they weren’t thought to be contagious.

That’s why a fully vaccinated 22-year-old theater employee in New York City who developed the measles in 2011 was released without hospitalization or quarantine. But like Typhoid Mary, this patient turned out to be unwittingly contagious. Ultimately, she transmitted the measles to four other people, according to a recent report in Clinical Infectious Diseases that tracked symptoms in the 88 people with whom “Measles Mary” interacted while she was sick. Surprisingly, two of the secondary patients had been fully vaccinated. And although the other two had no record of receiving the vaccine, they both showed signs of previous measles exposure that should have conferred immunity.

Keep reading at Science…

19 Comments on "New York Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Woman"

  1. So what’s the answer? More vaccines for everyone!

  2. The vaccine failed and this is the first time it’s been traced to someone under these circumstances. So what should we do? BAN ALL VACCINES!

    • Craig Bickford | Apr 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm |

      No, but we could own up to the failure rates for the purposes of full disclosure I suppose.

  3. I really like that the first two comments sarcastically said the exact opposite statements:


    More vaccines for Everyone.

    • mannyfurious | Apr 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm |

      Intelligence has very little to do with survival. I’m (badly) paraphrasing Darwin: It’s not the strongest that the survives, nor the smartest, it is that which is most able to adapt.

      Which makes sense. Even the dumbest human is probably smarter than the measles virus, but the virus is probably better to adapt.

  4. For those unafraid of the dirty truth behind the vaccine scam.

  5. Any data on whether this is a mutated virus?

    Often times a virus will mutate in those who don’t receive a booster or we’re infected at the time of immunization. Much like bacterium which become antibiotic resistant bacterium when a patient doesn’t run a full course of antibiotics as prescribed.

    • BuzzCoastin | Apr 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm |

      all organisms evolve to survive
      “diseases” are no exception
      vaccines help eliminate the weak
      and eventually the strong (the fittest) dominate over time

      • Yes of course evolution works through mutation but human error and intervention has the potential to throw the evolutionary rule book out the window.

  6. mannyfurious | Apr 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm |

    Yeah, but…science?

  7. Noah Hopson-Walker | Apr 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm |

    This is unfortunate, though it seems like the one in a trillion chance due to the extremely rare circumstances. Thankfully all it means is that we need to be a little more aware of our medical history when we get sick.

  8. emperorreagan | Apr 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm |

    Jenny McCarthy was right: vaccines will give your babies AIDS and a cleft palate.

Comments are closed.