Measles death in Germany sparks vaccination debate

(Next Media Online) – Following the February 23 death of a German toddler from measles, health officials in Berlin are considering making vaccinations mandatory.

The RNA in the measles virus uses a protein to bind itself to a host cell. After finding a healthy cell, its proteins disassemble and replicate, before going on to infect new cells. The only current way to shut down this viral factory is through vaccination.

Children who are vaccinated are given a tiny amount of the live measles virus, just enough for the body to create defenses against it. If over 90% of a population has been vaccinated, the virus cannot gain enough traction to cause an outbreak.

Medical professionals insist the shots are safe and that vaccinations do not cause autism, a concern for some parents in both Europe and the U.S.