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To be confused about the measles epidemic in Wales?

(110 Posts)
Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 11:11:28

I've started seeing some comments on news articles about the epidemic, that there are nowhere near as many actual confirmed cases of measles as were originally reported; many lab samples have returned a negative result for measles, and that the poor man who died from measles had an inconclusive post mortem, and apparently didn't have measles after all.
I don't doubt measles can have serious complications and is very unpleasant, before anyone thinks I don't understand that.
Has anyone on mn been affected by this current outbreak that can give us an idea what the situation is for them?
If many of these people who originally were thought to have measles turned out not to, then what did they have?
There is clearly an outbreak of something, but it doesn't seem to be just measles.

gordyslovesheep Germany Thu 09-May-13 11:13:33

why? and where have you read all these things?

I doubt we are being lied to and there is really some kind of a) plague in Wales or b) massive conspiracy to get kids vaccinated grin

hazeyjane Thu 09-May-13 11:16:58

The number of laboratory confirmed cases in the outbreak stands at 370 out of a total of 850 samples tested. I believe the other cases were from a dr's diagnosis.

This was from the guardian.

There are some articles on David Icke's website about it being a conspiracy and the numbers being lower

Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 11:27:17

But that is my point.
Presumably the doctors are sending off samples from people with suspected measles, so suffering with measles-like symptoms.
Of the 850 samples that were sent off, only 370 of them were confirmed as measles. The rest had something else.
What did the rest have?

gordyslovesheep Germany Thu 09-May-13 11:33:51

a rash? a viral rash? probably ...what do YOU think they had?

noblegiraffe Thu 09-May-13 11:35:11

Lots of viral rashes look like measles. During a measles epidemic a doctor is more likely to diagnose measles.

scaevola Thu 09-May-13 11:35:16

It is true that Wales includes both lab confirmed and doctor diagnosed cases in the figures (England is lab confirmed only). It is wrong to assume that the difference between lab confirmed and total figure means the others were negative - many have simply not been tested at all.

This method of counting is not new for this outbreak, nor does it make a measles outbreak any less dangerous.

I was thinking that it all seems to have gone very quiet.

jacks365 France Thu 09-May-13 11:37:34

The doctors are more likely to send a sample for "suspect" cases ie to rule it out so yes low figures for that would be expected. My understanding of the man who died is that they are not certain if measles contributed to his death not whether he had them.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-May-13 11:39:05

New Measles cases dropped last week to 290, from 425 new cases the week before.
www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317138896632

Only 27 new cases in Swansea, let's hope the worst is over.

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 09-May-13 11:40:09

The man who died did have a confirmed case of measles - the postmortum hasn't yet been able to say if this was the cause of his death.
There have been cases in dds school, and many cases at the local comp.

Do you really think it's all a big conspiracy?

Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 11:47:37

I don't think it's a huge conspiracy, I'm just confused as to why more people in the epidemic have got an illness with measles-like symptoms, than have actually got measles, and yet that isn't a concern to anyone?
If the level of confirmed measles in the lab samples is proportionate to the dr diagnosed cases, they have a lot of people infected with something, but not measles.
Surely that is worth some investigation?

gordyslovesheep Germany Thu 09-May-13 11:50:28

it wont concern anyone because viral rashes aren't usually serious - my kids get them at the drop of a hat - don't worry it's not the start of the zombie Apocalypse (sadly)

scaevola Thu 09-May-13 11:52:59

No. If a patient hasn't been tested, then it doesn't mean that they haven't got the doctor diagnosed disease. And if it looks like measles and it's happening in a patient in an area with an known outbreak, then chances are it's measles.

I have been unable to locate a figure of 'not measles' amongst those that have been tested. So there is no evidence on which to make an assumption that many cases were not measles. And until there is, it will have to remain speculation.

But what is clear is that there has been the largest outbreak for some years. That is in itself a concern, irrespective of precise number of cases.

MummytoKatie Thu 09-May-13 12:09:49

They would have had some kind of viral rash and a mother who watches the news! Dd is always getting viral rashes.

Two weeks ago she got the proper scary non-blanching pin prick bruises one so despite being incredibly healthy was admitted to hospital. We still don't know what caused it but as the paediatrician put it 5 hours after admission (whilst watching her happily ride a tricycle at full speed around the playroom) "the one thing we do know is that it isn't meningitis or septacemia - by now she'd be in intensive care if it was".

I flew over to the states a couple of weeks ago, there were a lot of notices talking about measles, apparently its been a problem in other places than Wales too.

Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 12:37:16

So in reality the majority of reported cases in the measles epidemic have actually turned out to be non specific viral rashes? That's going on official figures. That's a lot of rashes.

adeucalione Thu 09-May-13 12:47:51

In the whole of 2011 there were only 19 cases of measles across Wales, so 27 new cases in Swansea over the past week alone is still very serious.

Furthermore, whilst numbers are dropping in Swansea they are rising elsewhere in Wales (32 last week).

The BBC are reporting that the pace of the epidemic has meant that numbers have had to be based on GP diagnosis rather than lab confirmation, and that 30% of those diagnosed by their GP may actually have had a different type of rash.

OP - my DC get a rash almost every time they get a cold, I really don't think that there is anything worrying or sinister going on.

MummytoKatie Thu 09-May-13 12:58:50

I have taken dd to the doctor about some rash or other 6 or 7 times in her life. Plus there have been loads more rashes I was happy were nothing. She is just 3 so probably a rash every 3 months. Plus the eczema which is there all the time. She has never been really ill.

Some kids get lots and lots of rashes. Some don't so their parents think a rash is more serious than it generally is. Dd is practically never sick so I tend to worry if she is. If you have a "sicky" child then the odd vomit doesn't worry you at all.

gordyslovesheep Germany Thu 09-May-13 13:18:36

Reallynothappy what do YOU think the explanation is then? you seem unconvinced by the perfectly reasonable explanation of normal viral rashes - which are very very common ...

Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 13:28:49

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22350001 bbc news on 30/4 reporting the measles epidemic had reached over 1000, 84 people hospitalized.

www2.nphs.wales.nhs.uk:8080/CommunitySurveillanceDocs.nsf/3dc04669c9e1eaa880257062003b246b/38c4ee86b5fd701e80257b41003cdc52/$FILE/monthly%20lab%20201303.pdf
Showing only 26 confirmed cases in the past 3 months to end of March.

There is a MASSIVE discrepancy, doesn't this concern anyone?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scaevola Thu 09-May-13 13:40:47

No, not worried, because they have not said how many cases have been referred to labs.

Can anyone link figures showing how many cases were referred to labs, and how many of those were found not to be measles?

Not being tested is not the same as not having measles, and unless we know the number of tests found not to show measles, there is no way to know the accuracy or otherwise of doctor diagnoses or the headline figures.

gordyslovesheep Germany Thu 09-May-13 13:44:19

oh ffs just tell us what YOU THINK rather than continuously dropping vague hints - then maybe the adults can discuss it grin

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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