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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.

strictlovingmum Wed 22-May-13 21:24:42

DS(18) had his first MMR yesterday, in 1996 he was one year old, and that was the time when all the negative publicity about MMR started to soar.
At the time we decided not to vaccinate DS and basically we left it at that.
Since all the media reports started flooding from Wales I could not stop thinking about the decision I made on behalf DS, I also felt extremely guilty.
I should have had my child vaccinated years ago, and not take such gamble with HIS life.
It is easy to perhaps overestimate the true numbers of affected people especially in Epidemic scenario, but overestimate or underestimate in such circumstances is perfectly understandable, and it doesn't mean Measles didn't happen.

EglantinePrice Wed 22-May-13 20:50:56

chandellina are you suggesting reporting false news in the interests of improving vaccination uptake?

LarvalFormOfOddSock Tue 21-May-13 22:04:09

OP, it was on the Welsh news today and it's still being reported on the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22611801.

I'm in North Wales and the media most certainly hasn't gone quiet here. Nor have the NHS. They're vaccinating their front of line staff in anticipation of it reaching up here.

namechangeofshame Tue 21-May-13 21:35:35

Haven't read all the thread BUT just to add to ops paranoia DD2 (11months) came down with a "virus" just after easter, we are in wales.

Quickly hit temps of 41/42 that medicine didn't bring down went blue, shaking rash head to toe. Hospitalised for 3 days in which time dd1 (3) got it, started passing blood hospitalised for 1 day. DH and I both got it no rash.

It wasnt measles, family history and a questionable chest xray led to tb testing. Only just got the all clear for that both dds fine yet they want dd1 back in for more but "different" skin prick tests and blood tests in 2 weeks. No real reason given. They then let me have dd2s mmr early.

How's that for adding to to your conspiracy theory?

still think it's just a measels outbreak we ate just unlucky

chandellina Tue 21-May-13 21:18:18

Vaccination is safe and effective. Everyone needs to be vaccinated to prevent future outbreaks so picking apart the numbers is great in the name of truth but not so good for encouraging the necessary protective measures.

Reallynothappy Tue 21-May-13 21:07:55

Interesting link, thanks. It seems to have gone very quiet on the news about the epidemic. Has it now peaked?

EglantinePrice Tue 21-May-13 19:55:16

thanks for the link - interesting. noblegiraffe is right in saying If enough people were vaccinated, there would be no cases

But how can we weigh up the risk of the disease v's the risk of the vaccination when even the biggest national news agency is reporting false statistics about the outbreak and risks of the disease?

SDeuchars Tue 21-May-13 19:14:33

Here is a relevant post. I know that the post itself is not a particularly reputable source but it gathers together a set of links to other places and debunks the hysteria over the outbreak.

maddening Sat 11-May-13 06:51:49

The 1000 cases is reported cases by drs over the epidemic (november-ish)

The other link is a monthly lab report - so will not include dr confirmed cases - and only for a 1 month period.

I think you have confused yourself by looking at non comparable data.

exoticfruits Sat 11-May-13 06:33:54

One of the people who believes that the Wales measles cases were faked has the opinion that polio never existed!!

ClayDavis Fri 10-May-13 22:47:03

lovemycrazykids, can only speak for the whole of England and Wales but of the 629 lab confirmed cases in the last quarter of 2012, 26 had had 1 dose of a measles containing vaccine and 11 had had 2 doses. Which works out at about 4% and 2% respectively.

From what I can remember those percentages seem to correlate with the data from the Europe wide outbreak.

www.hpa.org.uk/hpr/archives/2013/hpr0813.pdf

adeucalione Fri 10-May-13 22:35:17

Noblegiraffe - the eradication of polio is also looking less likely due to a vaccination scare in Nigeria (a US plot to spread AIDS and infertility). New outbreaks in Nigeria, Yemen and Indonesia. It's heartbreaking that lives are being lost and ruined due to scaremongering, and interesting that different countries have different vaccination scares I think.

exoticfruits Fri 10-May-13 19:01:50

There shouldn't be any cases and if everyone was vaccinated it would protect those who couldn't have it and those who are too young.

EglantinePrice Fri 10-May-13 16:45:00

Well here is info for the (much smaller) Merseyside epidemic

www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20226

so presumably there will eventually be data for this outbreak

MrsHoarder Fri 10-May-13 16:16:20

lovemycrazykids that's a fairly loaded question, because of some basic statistics. We know that vaccine efficiency is around 99% (not got exact figure in front of me) for measles in MMR. This is fine as long as take-up is above about 95% because at that level measles is very very unlikely to become epidemic in the community.

I've followed this one poorly, but I thought MMR take-up around Swansea was about 90%? That means that out of every 100 children 10 are not vaccinated and 1 has had the vaccination but it didn't take. Therefore you expect about 1 in every 11 measles patients to be vaccinated but less than 1 in every 100 vaccinated children to get measles (because not everyone who isn't immune will get the disease).

noblegiraffe Fri 10-May-13 15:58:48

If enough people were vaccinated, there would be no cases. The target for eradicating measles (as smallpox was) in Europe is 2015 but it will be missed because not enough people are vaccinating.

NotYoMomma Fri 10-May-13 15:58:32

I find the whole thing annoying. If your child doesn't have a medical problem preventing vaccinations you should get them vaccinated!

To help protect the vulnerable and reduce the disease.

Sadly I don't think we will ever eradicate another disease again because people are now scared to do it. There is a load of scaremongering out and about

SDeuchars Fri 10-May-13 15:43:10

As I understand it, that's not true, exoticfruits. Vaccination would not mean that there would be no cases (see the figures of numbers of cases since 1940), just that they would be fewer and less severe.

lovemycrazykids, I don't think those numbers are available. Even in children going through the vaccination cycle, noone tests to see if it has "taken" - we just act as if it has not and give three doses anyway. A percentage of vaccinated adults do not retain immunity.

lovemycrazykids Fri 10-May-13 15:32:30

would be interested to see if anyone can find figures on how many people who had confirmed cases and HAD already been vaccinated?

exoticfruits Fri 10-May-13 07:20:15

It seems sensible to use them to push vaccination- had they all been vaccinated we wouldn't had the cases- my friend wouldn't have been in danger of exposing her 7 month old baby to the disease by simply going to a mother and baby group.

scaevola Fri 10-May-13 07:07:12

That report shows no such thing, SDeuchars because it is talking about whole country annual totals. The number of cases, in geographically concentrated outbreaks, in three months only is quite a different thing, and the level so far is unusual and concerning.

I agree BTW that the London totals are greater than 30 if you add them up over the whole capital over the whole year. The 30ish refers to size of each clump of cases (which I termed outbreak) within those figures.

Basically, outbreaks are getting bigger. I agree they are being used to push the vaccination. But that is to spare DCs harm. Yes, it's not that bad a disease in many, and it's quite possible to not know anyone who has had it since say 1970s. But the complications rate is about 30% (hospitalisation likely in a third of those) which is much higher than many diseases.

And of course we no longer have a hospital infrastructure which would cope well with a major infectious diseas outbreak.

exoticfruits Fri 10-May-13 06:57:33

I can't see why either side need to use it as propaganda. I got the 'fake' link from someone who is very anti and someone who is quite influential - I think it highly irresponsible of her to further her views on the back of it.

exoticfruits Fri 10-May-13 06:55:37

I am not interested in anecdote. My area has not had a case of measles- now they have several and I know it to be true.

SDeuchars Fri 10-May-13 06:42:27

But, exoticfruits, the plural of anecdote is not data. The HPA's figures show that the Wales outbreak is within normal limits and that it is usual to have (suspected) measles in the community.

exoticfruits Fri 10-May-13 06:37:04

All I know is that for over 20 years, teaching in many schools in several areas, I have personally never come across a case of measles. I have 3DCs who have not had measles and have never been in contact with measles. I went to mothers and babies groups secure in the knowledge that there was no danger of measles- unlike my friend last week. When I went to give blood it took a long discussion as to whether I could go ahead because they had never had someone who had been in contact with measles. Now, regardless of how many cases in Wales, measles is definitely in the community. I think it is highly irresponsible of the anti vaccine people to try and deny the fact or simply brush it off as being usual- it isn't usual.

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