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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

jacks365 Thu 09-May-13 13:49:49

Actually if you compare last years lab confirmed cases to this years for Jan Feb and March then it does show a significant increase.

MrsHoarder Thu 09-May-13 13:53:13

That's not a discrepancy, that's an outbreak starting in late march/early April.

Pigsmummy Thu 09-May-13 13:57:36

I think doctors would likely diagnose rather than test every case now, as they did with swine flu? With that they only tested for first few weeks then if you had the right symptoms you were just given tamiflu. saved a load of cash.

Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 14:00:13

I'm not dropping hints. I posted two links, from reputable sites, with a huge discrepancy in cases. That I find confusing, and I wanted to see if anyone there had any insight. No one has come on who has had a confirmed case within their family or immediate circle, to give their view, so I guess I'm no wiser. Sorry if you felt I was hinting at something. I'm genuinely confused and wish to understand the situation further.

Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 14:01:00

The outbreak started last Nov according to reports.

gordyslovesheep Thu 09-May-13 14:02:52

no one link was for lab tested samples ...

okay - some thing thought to be measles turned out to be viral rashes

some measles cases where sampled and found to be measles, some where not measles

many measles cases wont be sent to the lab

Pigsmummy Thu 09-May-13 14:03:38

If the figures are only up to march then that might be the difference? Also not every case will have been tested by labs.

In South East England there is a Coxasckie outbreak but they wouldn't test every potential case of that either.

jacks365 Thu 09-May-13 14:04:01

The population of Wales is over 3 million so the number of cases is a small percentage so not knowing anyone is not surprising but still any rise is a worry.

Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 14:05:47

I'm not doubting there is a significant increase, that is documented. It is the 26 cases v over 1000.
Of the samples that were sent for lab testing, the majority came back as negative for measles.

SDeuchars Thu 09-May-13 14:08:37

Here are some figures going back to 1940 in E&W. This would indicate that 1000 is not "the largest outbreak for some years".

A separate document shows measles notifications (confirmed cases) for 1995-2012. (I'm ignoring the 18 months from mid-2010 to 2011 because the numbers are messed up.) In 2009, 5263 cases were notified, 4471 (85%) were tested and 876 (16.6%) were confirmed.

Combining both sets of data, in 2007, 3700 cases were notified, 89% were tested, 16.9% were confirmed and there was 1 death. Almost all measles-attributed deaths since 1992 have been caused in older people by the late effects of infections acquired during epidemics in the 1980s or earlier (i.e. they were not in children who had only just contracted measles).

To me, this suggests that the hysteria since November is not warranted. Although measles can be dangerous, it is also rare.

jacks365 Thu 09-May-13 14:08:59

You don't test for measles if it is clear that that is the problem. You only test where there is any doubt.

MabliD Thu 09-May-13 14:10:38

I know 3 people who have had the measles diagnosis (adult, two kids) all were doctor diagnosed no samples taken for lab testing or anything like that, luckily all mild cases. If anecdotal evidence helps!

AtYourCervix Thu 09-May-13 14:17:10

I suspect ebola.

SDeuchars Thu 09-May-13 14:19:33

jacks365, I don't think that is true. Measles is notifiable and I don't think they'd test over 80% of cases if they were only testing in cases of doubt.

EglantinePrice Thu 09-May-13 14:24:35

Coxsackie is not a potentially lethal, notifiable disease pigsmummy so I don't really see the comparison. There is no vaccine so it wouldn't change anything anyway.

I certainly think OP, that before running scaremongering headlines (look where that got us in the past) the media should attempt to report accurate, honest and transparent information. Not create mistrust and uncertainty by making claims that maybe aren't quite true.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-May-13 14:27:12

Sdeuchars something's not right with those figures because as you've calculated, in 2009 876 cases were confirmed. But if you go to the linked document 'laboratory confirmed cases' it says that in 2009 there were 1144 laboratory confirmed cases of measles confused

jacks365 Thu 09-May-13 14:30:32

Yes measles has to be notified however that does not mean it has to be tested. Its common for it to be tested when rates are lower and 3700 in England over 12 months is a much lower rate than 1000 in 5 months in Wales, add to that the very sudden increase in numbers over the last 2 months and testing does go out of the window.

PipkinsPal Thu 09-May-13 14:30:35

It doesn't matter how many case of measles have been actually diagnosed. People have been diagnosed with measles, a notifiable disease and the amount of people who have been coming forward for the MMR jab now, children and adults alike, shows that they haven't been immunised. I'm sure the take up for MMR would increase if the newspapers stopped showing pictures of a syringe with the article and instead showed a poorly child plastered in a measles rash.

PipkinsPal Thu 09-May-13 14:35:19

BTW forgot to mention that I live in S Wales and work in a GP surgery. Cases have and are being diagnosed but as far as I am aware no samples are sent to the lab each time but the Doctors have to notify Public Health.

SparkleToffee Thu 09-May-13 14:53:03

MY DD had measles when she was 11mo and was diagnosed via GP and Hospital. (This was 3 years ago). Pipkins - they didnt diagnose but DoH sent us a swab in the post for me to do.... so maybe this is the way the samples have been tested?

MamaMumra Thu 09-May-13 15:23:50

You don't test for measles if it is clear that that is the problem. You only test where there is any doubt.

Measles in a notifiable disease, so all suspected cases are reported immediately but also a lab test is required also.

It was my impression that a notifiable disease had to be swabbed to be confirmed.

Years ago ds1 had a measles type rash & cough (& rash came up in the right order for measles). I rang OOH. Was told to come down. Was put in a very crowded waiting room, told reception this might not be sensible so was put in a room with a baby hmm

Saw doctor. Who said 'can't be measles he's been vaccinated'. I pointed out it doesn't always work. He said 'he's not ill enough for it to be measles'. I pointed out that in the case of a partial vaccine failure you can get a milder dose but still be infectious (which was why I was there) he just shrugged.

The words arse and elbow spring to mind.

But yes OP I have been confused by the figures as well and asked on another thread. Was suggested that we just need to wait a bit longer to find out the real figures.

hazeyjane Thu 09-May-13 16:07:08

I don't think that they do, Saintly. I asked when dd1 had scarlet fever, and the hospital said that they didn't need to.

MrsHoarder Thu 09-May-13 16:31:46

Saintly they don't swab everyone in an outbreak, just a proportion. And if its done by lay people a high proportion of false negatives isn't surprising.

ipswitch Thu 09-May-13 16:39:47

I remember a well reported mumps outbreak few years ago, and the public health scare that followed it. GPs started diagnosing mumps right left and centre at all sore throat type ilnesses. I was working at a GPs and suspected cases were not swabbed or tested, just diagnosed on clinical suspicion.

I suspect the same has happened in Wales with the measles "epidemic"

WearsMinkAllDayAndFoxAllNight Thu 09-May-13 16:46:39

OP, why the confusion? It's all obvious really.

There's no epidemic. All the doctors and public health professionals are part of a conspiracy operated by a shadowy committee of Big Pharma executives and members of the Bilderberg Group.

They want to continue injecting nanobots into our children.

Reallynothappy Thu 09-May-13 17:04:43

Has the epidemic been exaggerated?

exoticfruits Thu 09-May-13 17:11:42

I have seen reports that it is all faked but they are posted by those against vaccination and I think it very irresponsible of them. The inquest has not been held yet on the man who died- time was needed for further tests.
Regardless of how many cases there are in Wales, it is definitely in my area. From reports I have heard, personally, from different areas there are lots of cases. There shouldn't be any- there haven't been for decades before now.

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 09-May-13 17:15:23

Of all the confirmed cases I know of only one was tested and that was due to it being a non typical presention and other underlying health issues. All the others were GP diagnosed.

As other posters have pointed out testing is only done now where there is doubt.

YoniRanger Thu 09-May-13 17:19:26

I'm in Powys and we have had a fair few cases.

Prior to this outbreak GPs have actually been reluctant to suggest measles round here. I think you should probably question the normal numbers OP because I think they are artificially low.

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 09-May-13 17:20:33

I am in the outbreak area - no it's not being exaggerated, many children have been very ill with measles. A family fried has had an operation cancelled because of the pressure on intensive care beds due to measles cases.

I really don't see why you want to play down the seriousness of this outbreak..........

exoticfruits Thu 09-May-13 17:27:02

People want to play it down because they are anti vaccination. I think that the authorities are underplaying it and there are far more cases.
They are not exaggerated in my area- they are true.

EglantinePrice Thu 09-May-13 17:31:09

Who wants to play down the seriousness of this outbreak?

I don't think anyone wants to do this anymore than you are suggesting the outbreak should be exaggerated (are you?)

What is being asked is, is it possible there are fewer cases than are being reported (according to some on the thread not all cases are lab confirmed)?

Surely everyone wants to see accurate information in the media...

AmberLeaf Thu 09-May-13 17:33:44

Case definition of measles helps to identify cases for notification but clinical diagnosis is unreliable, particularly in countries with low incidence of the disease, so laboratory confirmation is required

Lab confirmation obviously doesn't happen much, more cases have been tested in the latest outbreak, showing [apparently?] that a large number of suspected measles cases are not in fact measles.

As others have said viral rashes are common and in the event of an outbreak you can see why measles would be assumed.

I really don't see how you can 'guess' without lab confirmation with a notifiable disease though?

Surely all cases should be confirmed before they are added to any kind of list?

scaevola Thu 09-May-13 17:34:24

When I said about largest outbreak for one years, I wasn't referring to the total number cases across the whole of England and Wales (as in table linked by another poster).

I meant outbreak in a particular locality. For example, in London (low vax rates, high population arriving from countries with inadequate accident programmes, general hub), the typical size of an outbreak is about 30 cases, and this happens every year without making the news.

The Welsh outbreak is over ten times that size in a much smaller and less densely populated area. It is the largest outbreak - in terms of grouped cases - for many years.

AmberLeaf Thu 09-May-13 17:35:53

I think that the authorities are underplaying it and there are far more cases

Why do you think they would do that exotic?

exoticfruits Thu 09-May-13 18:02:14

They don't want to cause mass panic - I doubt they could cope with it at the moment.

AmberLeaf Thu 09-May-13 18:13:07

Do you think?

I think if they were going to do that, then the released stats of confirmed cases would tally with the numbers of suspected, not really much lower so as to make some people think the opposite....

I don't know, I dont think there is any conspiracy on either side personally, I think that there are obviously some people who did have measles, but that many cases were misdiagnosed by GPs with a heightened expectation that it would be measles.

ArgyMargy Thu 09-May-13 18:25:20

Why would there be a mass panic, Exotic? And what exactly would "they" not be able to cope with? It's not as if we would all turn up at A&E demanding treatment - cos there isn't any.

Has anyone died yet? (apart from the man who was ill anyway)

noblegiraffe Thu 09-May-13 18:41:50

"Usually, a notification of measles is laboratory confirmed (or not) by sending a sample for virological testing. However, due to the high numbers of notifications reported during an outbreak, it is possible that not all clinically-diagnosed cases will undergo subsequent laboratory testing. It is probable that not all cases notified on the basis of clinical symptoms will be due to measles infection and this maybe true especially for notifications from outside the outbreak area."

www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/66389#a

I don't think there would be panic either - after all they said they were disappointed by the number of 10-17 years old (supposedly the biggest at risk group) presenting for vaccination.

Thank you noblegiraffe - have been trying to find an explanation like that for the last week or so. There is a bit of a discussion about actual numbers going on on the BMJ website at the moment.

exoticfruits Thu 09-May-13 18:53:18

In my area they have had to have a special clinic for the secondary school pupils and they have been ,sensibly, getting it done. I doubt they have the staff and vaccine to replicate it all over the country. My friend has had to have her baby vaccinated after coming into contact - and have it done herself.

exoticfruits Thu 09-May-13 18:53:50

They set up the clinic in the school.

exoticfruits Thu 09-May-13 18:56:22

I think that both sides should stop using it for propaganda- whether they are pro vaccination or have conspiracy theories- they are both as bad as each other.

Pixel Thu 09-May-13 19:04:38

It makes me wonder how often a mild case of measles is diagnosed as a viral rash when there isn't a measles epidemic going on, if the doctors can't tell the difference. I've taken poorly children to the doctor with a rash and been told "it's a virus" which in our family is code for "I haven't a clue but I've got to say something" after we had a GP who seemed to diagnose everything either as 'a virus' or 'only to be expected at your age' depending on the family member. When we got home from a GP visit we would be asked "Well is it a virus, or your age?" grin

ArabellaBeaumaris Thu 09-May-13 19:10:13

I'm in the nw, & DP says about a third of the staff at his work (hospital) have been off with measles.

exoticfruits Thu 09-May-13 19:17:58

Which is why I'm convinced that there are more cases than we know about, Arabella, I know a doctor in a other area who has a lot of cases.
The 'conspiracy' person that I know tries to make out that we have always had the odd case, but in all my years of teaching I haven't known a single case.

AmberLeaf Thu 09-May-13 19:28:33

Really Arabella?

A third? of adults, I wonder what their vaccination status was then? I thought HCPs had to have all their vacs up to date?

A third of staff? But surely a good chunk of hospital staff are old enough to have had measles (I had it and I'm not that old). And surely the others should be vaccinated. If they're adult staff they're 'pre-Wakefield'. Why are they all catching measles?

HCP's don't have to have vacs up to date Amber - but I think it's fair to say the majority working as HCP's will be vaccinated.

AmberLeaf Thu 09-May-13 19:31:22

Ah ok! I can see why it would be a good idea for them to be for sure.

Yes, why would so many adults get measles?

dangly131 Thu 09-May-13 19:33:14

Could it be that parents in the epidemic areas have taken their children to the doctors with symptoms of illness - cold like, aches pains etc and without a rash (as this appears later on during the illness). The doctors may then suspect it could be measles as they are presenting other symptoms and so test to be sure. Kid ends up just having a cold etc in the end. Not all will have presented a rash for the doctor to test. This would explain why there are a lot of discrepancies between lab results and doc diagnosis.

Spikeytree Thu 09-May-13 20:42:56

I'm not in Wales but Measles is going through the school I teach in. In my form alone we've had 3 off and I know that is repeated across the year group. It appears to be tag-teaming with Chicken Pox which has taken out a number of children and staff and we have 2 pregnant staff signed off 'just in case'.

EglantinePrice Thu 09-May-13 21:48:23

So is there an over estimate of measles as Dr's are diagnosing measles for any child with a rash in an area that has seen cases of measles?

Or, are Dr's underestimating cases as they are diagnosing measles as 'a rash' when its measles but the child has been vaccinated so they are unwilling to label it measles? (this is definitely happening)

Arabella I wonder how many of those that have been off with measles have been confirmed..? Reminds me of the swine flu epidemic when (certain people) took themselves off for a week with a runny nose!

ArabellaBeaumaris Thu 09-May-13 22:24:01

Hah! I just asked DP again - apparently it's two people hmm he was exaggerating for effect. They get a fortnight off though!

I thought hcp did have to be up to date on vax?

There may be rules around hep B, but otherwise no. They are offered flu vaccinations but do not have to have them & no checks are made on childhood ones.

MangoLangoTango Thu 09-May-13 23:26:28

I think I can explain the discrepancy between the laboratory confirmed cases and the actual notified cases.

If you see this page here www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=457&pid=27920 it clearly explains that many of the Welsh measles samples get tested in England and therefore wouldn't show up in the Welsh laboratory confirmed numbers. However, the notification of the disease is always made to the HPA where the patient resides, hence the difference in figures.

HTH.

ClayDavis Fri 10-May-13 01:09:54

Not necessarily true saintly. I, along with everybody else at my induction was asked to produce record of child vax for Occ Health. They then decided what we needed based on what we'd had and our level of patient contact.

Excuse my irritation but a lot of people have already explained on this thread that it is only the doubtful cases that need blood tests to confirm diagnosis. The vast majority will be diagnosed clinically ie without blood tests hence the difference in figures

You do not have to have a lab diagnosis in order in order to notify a notifiable disease

Stop putting doubt in people's minds about the severity of this situation OP and read what all these sensible people have already said

Measles could be completely eradicated, like small pox, if people weren't scared to vaccinate.

I am not sure of the motivation behind your post. If it was genuine curiosity then you have had your question answered. This is not the time for conspiracy theories to put doubt in people's minds.

SDeuchars Fri 10-May-13 06:26:59

When I said about largest outbreak for one years, I wasn't referring to the total number cases across the whole of England and Wales (as in table linked by another poster). I meant outbreak in a particular locality. For example, in London (low vax rates, high population arriving from countries with inadequate accident programmes, general hub), the typical size of an outbreak is about 30 cases, and this happens every year without making the news.

According to the HPA, the number of notified cases in London since 1990* ranges between 339 and 1852 (mean 844). In Wales over the same period the range is 104 to 1640 (mean 345), or about three times the mean and 70% of the maximum since 1990 (which occurred in 1994).

I don't want to say that the outbreak is nothing but I went looking for these numbers about a month ago when I heard a (BBC Radio) news report in which a HCP repeatedly ducked questions about facts and simply said how vital it was to get everyone vaccinated. The same news report contained data which was clearly nonsense.

*I've ignored 1989 because it contains the highest figure for each of the regions, by a long way, which skews the numbers up.

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.

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 06:55:37

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.

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.

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 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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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).

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

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.

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.

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

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!!

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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