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Apparently children who have had good nutrition would just 'shrug it off' if they contracted measles. Why don't they say that in the UK?

(740 Posts)
bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 09:16:39

Article is here discussing the impact that poor nutrition has on children in developing countries.

Considering that the majority of children in the UK have no problem with good nutrition (fruit shoots and Greggs aside wink) why aren't parents being reassured rather than terrified into having their children vaccinated with images of coffins plastered over the promotional material?

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 09:24:26

Because it's not that simple.

Yes, the risks are higher for three groups: the under 2s, those with underlying conditions and the malnourished.

However, the complications rate of 30%, 1/3 of whom will require hospitalisation, and death rate of 1:1000 is based on developed western countries. That it is even worse in less developed nations doesn't make the risks in Us/Europe any less.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 09:27:36

I think you're extrapolating something that's not there - measles is still a serious illness for children in this country, it's just it's much more life threatening in countries where children have poor nutrition (and probably poor access clean water and sanitation at the same time).

To suggest that if your child eats well then they don't need to be vaccinated would be ill informed and irresponsible, unless you can produce any peer reviewed, verified medical studies on this? Are you?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 09:27:40

Do you not find it strange that the risk of dying from measles has increased from 1 in 5-10,000 to the now often quoted 1 in 1,000? When you look at the statistics from the countries who have had major outbreaks in recent years they do not reflect that.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 09:31:57

No, I'm not suggesting that but I'm just thinking of all the parents who were terrified by the recent outbreak in Wales and the campaign that went alongside it - e.g. coffins!

If children in developing countries who have had access to good nutrition would be said to 'shake it off' then why not children in the UK? How many worried mums posted on MN when their child contracted measles? Do you think scaring people is the best way to ensure they vaccinate? Do you think that's fair?

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 09:37:07

I spent time in intensive care as a child because of measles. I didn;t just "shrug it off". That scared my parents realy quite alot. Therefore I see vaccinations as important wherever they're available, and if it takes pictures of coffins to scare/convince some parents then I'd rather that than deaths.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 09:39:11

Really Oddsock? You think parents need to be scared into it? Where does it stop then? What else should we be scared into doing? The article also mentions how important it is to breastfeed up to 6 months. Should we start terrifying mothers into that? Put coffins all over the breastfeeding promotional material etc?

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 09:42:08

Not breastfeeding your child will not cause it to die.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 09:43:43

Pressed send to soon - not vaccinating will not cause a child to die of course, but it's a reducing a serious risk to that child.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 09:49:46

Breastfeeding reduces serious risks to babies as well Oddsock - some babies do, in fact, die from diseases that they would be less at risk of if they had been breastfed. So you don't think we should scare parents about the risks of not breastfeeding then? What if pictures of coffins on the breastfeeding promotional material would convince some mothers to breastfeed? Wouldn't you rather have that than deaths?

DomesticCEO Tue 18-Jun-13 09:52:31

I think that's very badly worded - absolute nonsense to say a well-nourished child would just 'shrug' measles off. I had it as a teenager and was terribly ill - nothing wrong with my nutrition at all.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 09:54:05

Don't be silly, bumble. I don't think there are any studies linking FF to significantly increased chance of hospitalisation let alone death vs BFhmm.

Do parents need scaring into vaccination? Well, seems like people had been misled by a combination of factors into seeing it as optional and not getting their kids protected so maybe a wake-up call was needed.

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 09:54:39

I wouldn't consider a death rate of 1:1000 a shrugging matter, though I agree that the difference between that and a death rate of up to 28% in the malnourished is stark.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 09:55:19

Complications are more common as you get older Domestic. Same as most 'childhood diseases'. Chickenpox is much worse as well, and mumps. Rubella is obviously more of a risk to older girls/women as well because they could be pregnant.

Jaynebxl Tue 18-Jun-13 09:57:41

You're not comparing like with like. A well nourished child in a developing country is more likely to shrug measles off than an undernourished one. That's the case the world over. It doesn't mean that the only thing stopping a child having complications with measles is food.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Tue 18-Jun-13 09:58:43

The statement about a well-nourished child 'shrugging off' measles is attributed to Jane Howard of the WFP. No mention of her medical or scientific credentials. I would want to know what research this assertion is based on before I took it at face value. Don't take a BBC magazine article, great as the BBC is, for more than it's worth.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 10:00:48

Anyway, looking at that article I find it a bit distasteful to use a quote taken out of context from a piece about the serious issues of malnutrition elsewhere as a vehicle for an anti-vaccination dig.

DomesticCEO Tue 18-Jun-13 10:01:19

Bumble, if I'd been vaccinated I wouldn't have contracted it as a teenager though would I?

differentnameforthis Tue 18-Jun-13 10:01:20

Well my friend has nearly lost her ds twice due to illnesses that we vaccinate against, both times severe dehydration due to vomiting/not being able to eat. One time he was so dehydrated, he was unresponsive & if she had not had to wake him, the doctors think they could have lost him. sad

That didn't scare her into vaccinating, dunno if coffins would. I wish something would. Every time they get sick (often) she worries that one of them will end up in hospital again.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 10:02:07

Here's one for you Grimma

There are others too. Google is your friend. Maybe some mothers are just seeing BF as optional and need a wake-up call?

MrsDeVere Tue 18-Jun-13 10:02:31

Almost killed me.
I was a very well nourished baby.

No-one shrugs off measles.

If they did it wouldn't be classed as an illness.

Porka Tue 18-Jun-13 10:04:13

I think it depends on the age, health, physiology and genetic makeup of the individual and presumably also the strain of the virus. I had measles at age 3 and was definitely ill (I remember it) but nothing more than say chicken pox. My sister was about 8 months and was much more poorly with very high fevers etc. My DH and his three siblings also had measles as children and again, not particularly serious.

We never heard of anyone being in hospital or dying of it in those days. Someone at our school died following complications from Chickenpox though - devastating for their family and friends obviously.

Both my children have had measles - there were strong reasons for not vaccinating before anyone makes unpleasant comments - and were not seriously ill at all.

Generally I would have thought that if the risk of the disease causing lasting damage are as high as 1:10,000, I would prefer the vaccination unless of course there are strong indications not to vaccinate.

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 10:05:18

In India, they do use threat of death to promote bf: "India can save the lives of 250,000 babies every year by just ONE action” - and that is initiating breastfeeding within one hour of birth."

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 10:11:29

Why exactly did you start this thread bumbley? Do you have an issue with vaccinations? The article you linked to was obviously about malnutrition, seems a bit tenuous to use it in an arguement (because that's obviously what you're after) about measles.

And since you ask, no I don't think coffins are necessary on leaflets about breastfeeding.

DomesticCEO Tue 18-Jun-13 10:17:32

different that's v sad about your friend - cannot understand why she would not want to protect her children, especially as she has seen how ill they can be sad.

bumble, there is plenty of research that also argues that the benefits of bf in the 1st world are over-played - lies, damn lies and statistics.

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