Human health is a complex topic with many interwoven factors that interact with each other. In general, many people who catch many "diseases" don't show significant symptoms because their immune system deals with it and limits the scope of the spread. I was not easily able to find that information about measles from a few minutes of trying though. It seems a bit controversial... Maybe you know if off-hand?
"Risk Analysis for Measles Reintroduction After Global Certification of Eradication"
"Convention holds that asymptomatic measles infections are rare, but there is a significant body of published evidence of acute measles infection among people who are exposed to measles virus but who do not develop classic symptoms [3-5]."
When you boost your immune system, you make it more likely the spread will be contained. Even for measles, the degree of symptoms you show and how long they last is in general probably going to reflect your health state (and also genetics though), as suggested in a link a bit further below to a study from CDC researchers. Humans are exposed to all sorts of potentially problematical viruses and bacteria every day -- doctors especially. A healthy immune system shrugs most of them off (with some dangerous exceptions, especially like Ebola).
A study specific to measles and nutrition, from India:
"Interaction between nutrition and measles"
"Much has been written about the synergestic interaction and infection in turn adversely affects the nutritional status. Although this relationship is well documented with respect to bacterial infections, it is not clear whether nutrition can influence the incidence or course of viral diseases. Measles is one of the most common viral infections that occur during childhood. The interactions between measles and nutritional status acquire considerable importance in situations where as a result of inadequate food intake, chronic malnutrition is widespread among children."
"Undernutrition as an underlying cause of child deaths associated with diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and measles"
"Results: The RR of mortality because of low weight-for-age was elevated for each cause of death and for all-cause mortality. Overall, 52.5% of all deaths in young children were attributable to undernutrition, varying from 44.8% for deaths because of measles to 60.7% for deaths because of diarrhea.
Conclusion: A significant proportion of deaths in young children worldwide is attributable to low weight-for-age, and efforts to reduce malnutrition should be a policy priority."
So if 50% of the death rate is from obvious malnutrition, could at least some of the rest be from more subtle dietary issues?
In the USA from 2010, just to show how the USA is in theory increasingly at risk of an epidemic from malnutrition among children:
"According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.4 million American families - almost 15 percent of U.S. households - are now "food insecure," an almost 30 percent increase since 2006. This means that, during any given month, they will be out of money, out of food, and forced to miss meals or seek assistance to feed themselves. Even those who get three meals a day may be malnourished. Americans increasingly eat cheap, sugary foods whose production is underwritten by government subsidies for the corn and dairy industries. As the New York Times reported this month, the USDA loudly promotes better eating habits while quietly working with Domino's to develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese. [There are healthy fats though, including from cheese though! my note]"
Call "eating right" and getting good sleep and so on "hippy" stuff if you will , but this has been known for a long time, and it used to be a bigger focus of medicine more than a century ago. It's just not very profitable for mainstream medicine today to focus on such advice. But if we are going to ostracize up people who are not vaccinated, then the question I raised on drawing the line is, should we not also also ostracize anyone who eats the Standard American Diet and so on?
Consider the scale of the measles problem in the USA before vaccination:
"Measles Elimination in the United States" (from US CDC researchers)
"By the late 1950s, even before the introduction of measles vaccine, measles-related deaths and case fatality rates in the United States had decreased markedly, presumably as a result of improvement in health care and nutrition. From 1956 to 1960, an average of 450 measles-related deaths were reported each year (~1 death/ 1000 reported cases), compared with an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912-1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases) . Nevertheless, in the late 1950s, serious complications due to measles remained frequent and costly. As a result of measles virus infections, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year; the latter was associated with a high risk of neurological sequelae and death. These complications and others resulted in an estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year ."
So, by the CDC researcher's own admission, it is not true that "nothing else is" effective against measles. Those "hippy" :-) CDC researchers clearly said:, "[measles] fatality rates in the United States had decreased markedly, presumably as a result of improvement in health care and nutrition". One may question how much further that trend could go on its own, but it clearly suggests a relationship between better nutrition and less measles fatalities.
I'm not disputing the potential deadly consequences of measles in some small number of tragic instances -- especially when kids are in bad health to begin with including from eating the Standard American Diet and lots of sugar and refined grains and such, and especially when crowded together in stressful living condition and schools. And no doubt some perfectly well-nourished kids may till dies from measles for whatever reasons related to genetics or other factors.
However, even for measles, there may be evolutionary reasons why we have certain diseases, based on other benefits (even at some tragic costs) -- same as why sickle cell anemia exists as a side effect of resisting malaria. Here are a couple speculations in that direction -- building on medical research results.
Measles, for example, has recently been used to reverse cancer in one woman.
"Measles Virus Puts Woman's Cancer Into Remission"
Cancer used to be a much rarer disease... Connection? Probably weak, but still something to think about...
Or see the below for a study that might help explain why allergies are on the rise in the West if measles has been eradicated. This shows that the issue is a more complex one, with various tradeoffs. Have we perhaps traded hundreds of measles deaths a year among the least healthy kids (or maybe less, given our modern medical system and supportive care and anti-virals) as well as thousands of non-fatal hospitalizations instead for hundreds of food allergy deaths and *millions* of allergy cases across all US kids annually?
On the scale of allergies in the USA and food allergy deaths:
"Estimates say that in the United States, thousands of people visit the emergency room annually because of allergic reactions to food. Somewhere around 150 to 200 people die in the U.S. each year because of food allergies. It's estimated that around 50 percent to 62 percent of those fatal cases of anaphylaxis were caused by peanut allergies."
The study (which I'm speculating on a bit further, granted):
Epidemiological studies have led to speculation that infections in early childhood may prevent allergic sensitisation but evidence to support this hypothesis is lacking. We investigated whether measles infection protects against the development of atopy in children of Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.
We conducted a historical cohort study in Bandim, a semi-rural district of Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau. 395 young adults, first surveyed in 1978-80 aged 0-6 years, were followed up in 1994. Our analyses were restricted to 262 individuals still living in Bandim for whom a measles history, documented in childhood, was judged to be reliable. We defined atopy as skin-prick test positivity (â¥3 mm weal) to one or more of seven allergens.
17 (12.8%) of 133 participants who had had measles infection were atopic compared with 33 (25.6%) of 129 of those who had been vaccinated and not had measles (odds ratio, adjusted for potential confounding variables 0.36 [95% Cl 0.17-0.78], p=0.01). Participants who had been breastfed for more than a year were less likely to have a positive skin test to housedust mite. After adjustment for breastfeeding and other variables, measles infection was associated with a large reduction in the risk of skin-prick test positivity to housedust mite (odds ratio for Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 0.20 [0.05-0.81], p=0.02; D farinae 0.20 [0.06-0.71], p=0.01).
BTW, the Flexner report is when a big shift occurred in US medicine 100 years ago, for both good in some ways (more science-based advice to eliminate some really bad quackery) and ill in others (less doctors, less time with patients, less emphasis on centuries of indigenous folk wisdom about health including lifestyle, sunshine, herbs, sleep, local foods, etc.):
"The Flexner Report is a book-length study of medical education in the United States and Canada, written by Abraham Flexner and published in 1910 under the aegis of the Carnegie Foundation. Many aspects of the present-day American medical profession stem from the Flexner Report and its aftermath. The Report (also called Carnegie Foundation Bulletin Number Four) called on American medical schools to enact higher admission and graduation standards, and to adhere strictly to the protocols of mainstream science in their teaching and research. Many American medical schools fell short of the standard advocated in the Flexner Report, and subsequent to its publication, nearly half of such schools merged or were closed outright. Colleges in electrotherapy were closed. The Report also concluded that there were too many medical schools in the USA, and that too many doctors were being trained. A repercussion of the Flexner Report, resulting from the closure or consolidation of university training, was reversion of American universities to male-only admittance programs to accommodate a smaller admission pool. ... The closure of these schools and the fact that black students were not admitted to many medical schools in the USA for 50 years after Flexner has contributed to the low numbers of American born physicians of color and the ramifications are still felt more than a 100 years later."
One other big thing that was lost was a focus on food and healing:
"Nutrition education in U.S. medical schools: latest update of a national survey."
"Respondents from 109 (86%) of the targeted medical schools completed some part of the survey. Most schools (103/109) required some form of nutrition education. Of the 105 schools answering questions about courses and contact hours, only 26 (25%) required a dedicated nutrition course; in 2004, 32 (30%) of 106 schools did. Overall, medical students received 19.6 contact hours of nutrition instruction during their medical school careers (range: 0-70 hours); the average in 2004 was 22.3 hours. Only 28 (27%) of the 105 schools met the minimum 25 required hours set by the National Academy of Sciences; in 2004, 40 (38%) of 104 schools did so."
The CDC researchers suggest above that nutrition and such cut back on measles deaths by more than a factor of 10. But nutrition remains unemphasized in US medical schools. Twenty-two hours average out of thousands? Next to nothing... And unlike a vaccine targeted at one specific disease, nutrition can help prevent and recover from a huge number of diseases. But, alas, there is little profit or prestige in just telling people to eat right -- and it puts people up against powerful financial interests. See for example:
"The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has posted an easy-to-understand visual on its site that shows which foods U.S. tax dollars go to support under the nation's farm bill. It's titled "Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac?" and depicts two pyramids -- subsidized foods and the old recommended food pyramid. It's interesting to note that the two are almost inversely proportional to each other."
You want "safe and effective" for kids? Change those political and educational priorities... But sadly, that is not something one doctor trapped on a treadmill of seeing patients for ten minutes each can do on his or her own. So, the prescription pad and syringe is the only easy-seeming (and profitable) answer, the ones they have been trained to emphasize, and doctors turn to them and similar things. I'm not saying such things can't be useful -- just that there is a bigger picture people are only starting to reawaken to since Flexner went too far the other way.
However, no doubt alternatives have their own conflicts of interest:
"Passionate about health and wellness? Integrative Nutrition empowers you to launch an exciting new career and build a life you love. Discover over 100 different dietary theories and learn from the world's top nutrition experts. The one-year course is 100% online, giving you the flexibility to study from your computer, smartphone, or tablet when it's convenient for you. ... Learn how to launch a fulfilling new career as a Health Coach and make money doing work you love. We give you all the tools and step-by-step training you need to build your business and start seeing clients while you're still in school. ... We're not just a school; we're a movement! Our community is working to reverse the health crisis. Join over 50,000 students and grads in 122 countries around the world who are creating a health revolution."
So, we are seeing an end run around the century-old Flexner-report establishment...No doubt with its own issues...