- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

LOS ANGELES — New research suggests the measles shot comes with a bonus: By preventing that disease, the vaccine may also help your body fight off other illnesses for years.

Scientists have long known contracting measles weakens the immune system for weeks or months. That puts people, especially children, at increased risk for potentially fatal infections.

A new study released Thursday by the journal Science finds that this vulnerable period goes on much longer than thought, up to three years. So the benefit of avoiding measles also extends longer than was appreciated.

The study also found that measles vaccination campaigns were followed by a drop in deaths for other infectious diseases.

Experts say the work is a wake-up call to parents who don’t vaccinate their children for personal reasons.

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