From BBC News
Children who contract measles and mumps in the same year are more likely to develop bowel disorders in later life, say scientists. Although the research team did not look at any direct links between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and IBD, their discovery could re-open the debate over whether the vaccine could be responsible for some cases.
The vaccine “infects” children with a weakened form of the live viruses to encourage an immune response which protects against the real thing.
So immunised children do come into contact with a much less powerful form of the two diseases in close succession.
However, the deafblind charity Sense urged parents to continue to immunise their children with the MMR vaccine.
They warned that failure to do so could lead to more cases of rubella (German measles) and a rise in the number of children born disabled as a result.
The discovery of the link by a team from the Royal Free Hospital in London has been hailed as a “major step forward” in finding a cure for incurable inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.
Another team from the Royal Free opened the original MMR controversy with reports published in the Lancet in 1997 which linked the MMR vaccine to IBD.
The Royal Free team studied data from 16,000 people all born in one week in 1970.
They found children aged four to six who contracted measles and mumps in the same year were four times more likely to develop Crohn’s Disease, and seven times more likely to develop ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease has become five times more common in young adults since the 1970s, and while it is treatable it is not curable.