Measles outbreak

If you're in England, you might not know that in the Swansea area, there have been 500 recent cases of measles.  10% have ended up in hospitalisation.  It is probably a matter of time before someone is left brain damaged or even dies.    Thanks to the fraudulent "research" from Andrew Wakefield, which has frightened so many people away from having the vaccine. (Wikipedia gives credible-looking references to a publication of fraud declaration by the BMJ)

So now many people are unprotected... who's at risk?  It will surely spread to other parts of the country.  So please get immunised.

How do you protect a baby?  Normally the first MMR jab (which only gives partial protection) is given at 13 months.  So what do you do before that age?

 

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Comments

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    Don't babies have immunity from their mothers for a year?
  • Had it when I was a kid, don't care.

  • I had measles when I was very small - the doctor was surprised, as he thought I should have immunity from my mother still.

    When I was a kid everyone had measles, mumps, chickn pox, rubella - all the usual childhood illnesses.  It was normal.

    Even given that the research was flawed, people are still wary of the combined jab.  Why not allow parents to have individual jabs for their kids if they would prefer that?

  • My grandkids both had scarlet fever over the Easter holidays and I was talking to a lady who had mumps!  Seems like a lot of the "old" illnesses are coming back again.

  • One argument I've seen for all kids having the MMR jab is that Rubella can cause birth defects if caught by a pregnant woman.  

    I was immunised as a teenager against rubella (but never had any kids).  

    Surely getting YOURSELF immunised is a better way of protecting your future babies, rather than relying on people to get their children immunised?

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    I agree with you Wilkie - they should have allowed separate jabs rather than insisting on it being combined or nothing.   In a few years more evidence coming out would have allowed them to go onto the combined without the same problems.    

    They can hardly be surprised parents maintain a healty cynicism about govt health pronouncements when you look at some of the things that have happened in recent years - Stafford scandal being the most recent.   

  • people can pay for teh seperate injections if they feel strongly about it........

     

    immunisation will not work for a small proportion.......so if everyone gets vaccinated then they have less chance of getting it...

    and babies do get some immuniation fropm their mothers but that isn't 100%.....but if they do get it then it should be in a milder form and so hopefully no long lasting consequences....

  • The media hype over imms was awful, and the general population believe anything written in newspapers

    I can see why parents were reluctant to get combined jabs

    on the other hand I have always believed imms are safer to give than to risk my children contracting the viruses they aim to protect against

    immunity from mothers to babies would work a whole lot better if mothers breastfed longer , but society as a whole has moved away from BF, even mothers who start BF rarely exclusively feed for the reccommended 6 months and opt to feed artificial milk and wean early - social norm now -

    I am cross BCG vaccines aren't given at school now , how long before tb becomes more prevalent again due to travel etc
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    I don't think people believe anything in the papers - it's that they weren't sure - there was a lot of anecdotal evidence from parents of autistic kids around at the time and then an apparent disagreement between medical researchers.   As I say it wouldn't be the first time everyone was assured something was fine and safe only for it to turn out otherwise.     

  • I didn't mean that to sound rude , about the newspapers thing, it's just when media has spread hype, it's hard to undo and take back the incorrect parts

    look at the eggs scandal ,

    there will never be risk free solutions , nor compulsory imms, I respect peoples decisions to accept/reject imms , I'm not convinced though that decisions are based on true informed knowledge ,

    that's where I can sympathise with parents who fear the decision ,

    tough call
  • "When I was a kid everyone had measles, mumps, chicken pox, rubella - all the usual childhood illnesses. It was normal."

    Same here, except I never got mumps although my brother did. Doc said I had natural immunity to it. I seem to remember most of my school friends had all the childhood illnesses too and we all survived.

  • popsider.....parents with autistic children are desperate to find a reason or a cause.........because in most cases parents go around in circles trying to work out if it was something that they had done.....

    to attach onto a theory that it was all the fault of a vaccine made the guilt easier.......

     and the timing of the jabs fitted in naturally with the way that autism usually shows itself.....

     

    and yes the papaers were bad at the time.......

     

    and when we were young and everyone got the injections...........you didn't have the same system of information.......so if 2000 children were killed or deaf or had limbs amputated becoase of the illness then you wouldn't have heard about it unless it was in your own village/ town.......

    didn't mean that the numbers were insignifant...just that people were not aware of how many lives it affected

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    I've since read that babies are pretty OK to 6 months... but with the first jab at 13 months, there seems to be a bit of a gap.

    I had measles as a kid - like everyone else - but we shouldn't be complacent. Research of 67,000 cases in USA between 1987 - 2000  caused 177 deaths.  That's 3 in every 1000 cases... so you could say that Swansea is lucky to have had no one die yet. 

     

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    Yes wouldn't necessarily disagree with you Seren - I just think at the time maybe the govt or whoever makes these decisions (nice, NHS?) could have been a bit more flexible and avoided the drop off in kids being innoculated.   I think with our first we delayed her MMR by a year or 18 months just because at the time we weren't sure and thought we'd give her immune system a bit longer to develop.   

    I don't know if I've ever been innoculated for measles - don't think i was as I had both types.

  • I think the problem with seperate jabs, and the reason why NICE / Govt stuck to their guns on the combined jab, is that the effectiveness of 3 separate jabs is very much reduced - with the course of jabs far less likely to be followed through.

    The effectiveness of this type of immunisation relies on the wider population being immunised, not just individuals.

    This was in the face of dodgy scientific research, initially spouted by the Daily Mail (with a clear political agenda), then picked up by the wider press, and since found to be false.

    I can completely understand why parents were confused. But also agree with the Govt decision not to use separate jabs in the public health programme (and, as Seren said, parents could still choose this option privately if they wanted).

     

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    Little C has had the combined jab.  If the option exists to have them individually then there's no mention of it, who exactly does them privately?

     

     

  • popsider wrote (see)

    I agree with you Wilkie - they should have allowed separate jabs rather than insisting on it being combined or nothing.   In a few years more evidence coming out would have allowed them to go onto the combined without the same problems.    

    They can hardly be surprised parents maintain a healty cynicism about govt health pronouncements when you look at some of the things that have happened in recent years - Stafford scandal being the most recent.   

    Trouble is, when some idiot comes out with shite research because he's trying to make a name for himself, it doesn't really matter what the government says. I had conversations with otherwise sane people who wouldn't coutenance having ANY immunisation for their kids because of this 'research'. Madness.

  • On a slightly different note. Whooping cough is making a comeback. It seems to affect mostly adults as it turns out that the vaccination given as children is not neccessarily lifelong.

    As I've had this since last week of November with no sign of getting better I would suggest that people think about revacination, especially if they have heard there are cases in their area.

  • Cinders wrote (see)

    Little C has had the combined jab.  If the option exists to have them individually then there's no mention of it, who exactly does them privately?

     

     

    I think, at the time, some private clinics were importing the seperate vaccines, on request of parents who wanted to persue that choice. Whether that's still available, I'm not sure - seems a risky choice if anyone is still going for that.

     

    The other point against single vaccines, besides the likelyhood that the full course would not be followed (6 jabs, at intervals, instead of 2), is that the intervals between jabs meant children would be un-protected for a longer period of time.

    Also, the practice of single jabs was experimental, so Govt would have been irresponsible to ever offer that option.

     

     

  • Single jabs don't work and leave kids unprotected.

    It is largely a testament to vaccination that as a country, we have forgotten that measles can cause death, blindness, serious and devastating disability. It is one of the leading causes of death and blindness in children in the developing world.

     

    This is a really nice blogpost which sums the argument up well:

     

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2013/04/03/an-open-letter-to-my-dad-on-the-occasion-of-his-recent-anti-vax-facebook-postings/

     

     

  • Tracey GTracey G ✭✭✭
    I had measles and mumps as a kid, German measles at 20 and chicken pox at 31. I've got my childhood card with my injections on somewhere.



    Both my kids had MMR. My 13 year old son is autistic, thou there were autistic kids and adults before MMR.
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    Peter Collins wrote (see)
    popsider wrote (see)

    I agree with you Wilkie - they should have allowed separate jabs rather than insisting on it being combined or nothing.   In a few years more evidence coming out would have allowed them to go onto the combined without the same problems.    

    They can hardly be surprised parents maintain a healty cynicism about govt health pronouncements when you look at some of the things that have happened in recent years - Stafford scandal being the most recent.   

    Trouble is, when some idiot comes out with shite research because he's trying to make a name for himself, it doesn't really matter what the government says. I had conversations with otherwise sane people who wouldn't coutenance having ANY immunisation for their kids because of this 'research'. Madness.

    Yes but some people probably would have had the single that didn't go for the MMR had it been made readily available and the level of measles vaccination would have been higher - it wouldn't have had to be the only option.  A default of MMR with single jabs for those that requested them seems unlikely to have lowered take up rates and fairly likely to have raised them.   Couldn't rubella wait until a bit older anyway - it's not a serious immediate threat to health in kids is it ?  

       

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    chloella wrote (see)

    Single jabs don't work and leave kids unprotected.

    It is largely a testament to vaccination that as a country, we have forgotten that measles can cause death, blindness, serious and devastating disability. It is one of the leading causes of death and blindness in children in the developing world.

     

    This is a really nice blogpost which sums the argument up well:

     

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2013/04/03/an-open-letter-to-my-dad-on-the-occasion-of-his-recent-anti-vax-facebook-postings/

     

     

    Good one.  Cognitive bias is a woefully under-appreciated concept IMO, although I guess interweb forum threads would generally be about 10% of their length, and a lot less colourful if it didn't exist.

  • The problems with the single jabs are:

     

    They have an unproven safety record

    They leave children unimmunised for prolonged periods of time (check out the schedule for single jabs)

    Offering a choice would've a) increased the number of infections b) decreased the herd immunity and c) further undermined confidence in MMR.

     

    MMR was chosen for the national vaccination schedule because the evidence says it is the safest and most effective way of producing immunity in the population. Given that we know that, it is UNETHICAL to bring in an alternative less effective vaccination schedule.

    As for delaying rubella, well it used to be given to girls only at puberty, as the main reason for giving it is to protect unborn children from congenital rubella. The reeason we don't do that anymore is because it didn't really work as a strategy - there was no herd immunity, some girls got missed and some girls just didn't deveop immunity so huge numbers of pregnancies were at risk from congenital rubella.

     

    It is worth bearing in mind that Wakefield's paper (about the alleged dangers of MMR) has been retracted by the journals and he has been struck off the medical register for falsifying results and poor research practices. He behaved in an appalling fashion (including perforating the bowel of an autistic child during a procedure undertaken without proper consent)  in order to make a point which was not supported by any evidence whatsoever. he did so while accepting huge sums of money from lawyers who were pursuing suits against the vaccine manufacturers. In short he was as bent as a nine-bob-note. Why on earth so many people were prepared to believe him rather than their own doctors is beyond me, the data in his dodgy paper didn't even support his conclusions in the first place.

     

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    The point is that single jabs would have been better than no jab - not that you'd give everyone a single jab - but when people who hadn't taken up the MMR the single could have been offered.   So not MMR or single jabs - but single jabs or no jabs - it'd have covered some of the people who turned down the MMR which surely is a good thing.

    I don't buy that it's unethical to offer a single jab anyway - if it raised vaccination rates what is unethical about it ?  What lowered herd immunity was people not getting vaccinated.  You can argue that everyone getting MMR is the ideal scenario but you have to work with the situation as it is and back then the situation was that a fair number of parents were not sure about MMR.   What is unethical is insisting on one course of action even when it resulted in lowered vaccination rates and has contributed to the current measles outbreaks.   

  • MartenkayMartenkay ✭✭✭

    What does not surprise me is that after MMR/Autistic connection was proved false mothers' still made no move to have their children protected. Probably fathers' too but mothers' tend to have the upper hand with these matters. In fact when visiting G.P.'s MMR is still being offered and refused around the U.K.!

    Whereas the current frenzy in Swansea is for very good reason it is more akin to mass hysteria. I am sure many parents' are attending immunisation because their friends or neighbours are doing it not because of their G.P.'s advice. Though any reason to take this inoculation is good.

    So why are people throughout the U.K. not queuing at clinics and G.P.'s. Silly parents' think the risk is only confined to the areas publicised.

     

  • DeanR7DeanR7 ✭✭✭

    when faced with getting my kids immunised or not i asked 4 doctors Have they had their children immunised or would they?  They all said of course, they only people who wouldnt are the ill informed claiming to be informed.

  • I imagine that if you surveyed the population a large percentage would still say that they think there is a connection between MMR and the immunisation.....

    the papers gave so many pages to the original story and probably hardly mentioned that the report had been disgarded as incorrect

  • for those who may not read the Guardian, there was an article at the weekend about Andrew Wakefield and his compadres who still haven't given up the fight to link vaccination (and other discredited theories) to autism - they've just moved their argument to the USA...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/06/what-happened-man-mmr-panic

     

  • Ref the single jab discussion, I thought that the single jab for Mumps had been discontinued ?

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