Over 100 people in the United States have already been diagnosed with measles in 2015. Measles has been eliminated in the U.S., but recent drops in vaccination rates have made it possible for the disease to regain a foothold. The current outbreak is linked to the Disneyland amusement parks in California, one of many states in which a growing minority has opted not to vaccinate their children. The image shows the surface of the measles virus with one of the viral proteins–hemagglutinin–that the virus uses to attach to a human cell to infect it. Hemagglutinin is one of the main viral proteins that the immune system recognizes when mounting a response to stem the infection.
Watch a NOVA special, “Vaccines: Calling the Shots”
Fabian de Kok-Mercado, MA-CMI, HHMI