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Think We're Rid of Measles? Think Again

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Over the last few weeks, the numerous outbreaks of measles in Canada have led many public health officials and microbiologists to shake their collective heads. The reason is simple: this should not be happening. Of all the pathogenic viruses, this one has been on our radar for nearly 200 years as has been the knowledge of how to prevent infections: vaccination.

Back in the early 1800s, merely thirty years after the discovery of Edward Jenner led to the dawn of vaccines; measles was identified as the next virus to be stopped. It didn't quite go as well as expected. The first tests were unsuccessful although the results did not discourage the efforts. A century later, researchers understood the dynamics of vaccination and knew success was close. By the 1960s the solution was found and public health officials were ready to go on the offensive and eradicate this illness.

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