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First measles death suspected in Swansea

(145 Posts)
CatherinaJTV Fri 19-Apr-13 10:39:32
AuntieStella Fri 19-Apr-13 11:10:44

I've just seen this on the news. We'll have to wait for results of post mortem testing, and it's not clear how long that might take.

AmandinePoulain Fri 19-Apr-13 12:54:37

I was just coming to post about this, how sad.

Please, please get your children vaccinated.

I've seen several threads over the last few weeks where people have sain the 'measles isn't that bad'.

Well, clearly it is that bad. (I'm sure that someone will be along in a minute to say that he had a lack of vitamin A in his diet or something hmm)

bumbleymummy Fri 19-Apr-13 13:17:40

It is sad and no one will say that deaths from complications of measles never happen. It is more severe in adulthood though and we don't know if he had any underlying conditions that may have put him in the more at risk group. Probably best not to speculate - hopefully we'll know more soon.

Spidermama Fri 19-Apr-13 15:43:00

Don;t forget the one person who has died of measles over the last 15 years, a teenager, had a lung condition which contributed but which was barely mentioned in media reports.

Here we have ,A death is being investigated as part of the measles epidemic in Swansea' and already everyone's made their mind up. We really need to wait for he results.

AuntieStella Fri 19-Apr-13 15:48:17

Ahere are the Government stats for measles deaths It goes only to 2008 (I'll try to find one that goes to 2012). Between 1998 (15 years ago) and 2008, and excluding there were 13 deaths (11 if you exclude provisional data).

QueenOfCats Fri 19-Apr-13 16:50:52

It's just been confirmed that this man did have measles

QueenOfCats Fri 19-Apr-13 16:51:55

Can't do links - C&P'd:

"Public Health Wales laboratory tests have today confirmed a diagnosis of measles in a 25-year-old male from Swansea who died on Thursday 18 April," said Dr Marion Lyons, PHW's director of health protection.

"Whatever the cause of death in this case we should not be surprised if, as the outbreak grows, we start to see deaths in Wales".

AuntieStella Fri 19-Apr-13 18:12:38

Here's a link to various measles statistics As there are stats to 2012, but nothing on deaths since 2008, perhaps there have been none in that period.

YoniTrix Fri 19-Apr-13 18:13:53

It said on the BBC website that there have been no deaths since 2008.

Spidermama Fri 19-Apr-13 18:53:40

The health expert on 5Live said 2 deaths from measles in the last 20 years.

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Sat 20-Apr-13 02:13:12

Two deaths too many, for a disease that could have gone the way of polio.

bumbleymummy Sat 20-Apr-13 06:34:38

The previous 2 deaths were in immunocompromised people. Not that this makes their deaths any less tragic - just that they were more susceptible to complications. I wonder if this man had any underlying conditions and what he actually died from.

WidowWadman Sat 20-Apr-13 06:45:30

2 deaths from acute measles. The other measles deaths were attributed to late effects of measles.
Just because you survive the initial infection, doesn't mean that SSPE won't kill you a few years down the line

bumbleymummy Sat 20-Apr-13 06:54:35

Widow, SSPE is a very rare complication. You know that many MNer's children have or have had measles recently don't you? Do you really think that's a helpful comment? The vast majority will recover from measles without any long term effects.

WidowWadman Sat 20-Apr-13 07:10:37

Sorry, if it's not helpful confused. Personally I think lying about the fact that measles can have late effects that kill is not helpful.

Up-thread it was claimed there were only two deaths (in the UK) from measles in 20 years. That's blatantly untrue. If you talk about measles deaths, you need to count all of them. Don't try to downplay how dangerous measles are to spare people's feelings.

bumbleymummy Sat 20-Apr-13 07:22:19

I don't need to downplay it Widow. It's a very rare complication. Language such as "doesn't mean that SSPE won't kill you a few years down the line" is just unnecessary scaremongering. Would you tell a recovering cancer patient 'just because it hasn't killed you this time doesn't mean it won't kill you a few years down the line' I mean you don't want to downplay the risks of cancer just to spare someone's feelings do you?

WidowWadman Sat 20-Apr-13 07:26:39

The difference is that you can't vaccinate against cancer, but you can against measles, and so reduce that risk even further.

Downplaying the risks of a preventable disease may lead to people not protecting their children against it.

bumbleymummy Sat 20-Apr-13 07:58:33

Some of the children who have had measles have been vaccinated. In any case, if they've had measles there's not much they can do about it so telling them 'you might still die' is just unnecessary scaremongering.

JakeBullet Sat 20-Apr-13 08:05:03

I think until we know this man died from complications due to measles that blaming vaccination/lack of vaccination is premature.

His death might be totally unrelated to measles.

scaevola Sat 20-Apr-13 08:09:55

HPA figures for all cases 2012 showed under 7% in those known to have been jabbed (either MMR or single). Nothing on rate in current outbreak, which I expect would behave quite differently from a series of smaller outbreaks.

JakeBullet Sat 20-Apr-13 08:10:05

It's about risk though, the risk of vaccine damage (rare) against the risk of complications (not so rare). I went with vaccination for my DS who is autistic...but not as a result of vaccination.
The risks of complications from measles just seemed too great a chance to take. Other parents will decide differently because they will assess the risks differently.

scaevola Sat 20-Apr-13 08:11:42

Of the 13 measles deaths in UK since early 1990s, only two were of the acute disease. The rest were delayed effects: IIRC, it can take up to 15 years for SSPE to show up.

bumbleymummy Sat 20-Apr-13 08:15:00

Jake, many people opt for the singles measles vaccine.

I think that the figure that around 10% of those diagnosed with measles currently are in hospital speaks volumes.

scaevola Sat 20-Apr-13 08:26:27

The complications rate for measles is about 30% (according to CDC), but not all of those require hospitalisation, and only a very small proportion lead to permanent damage.

That's 70% who are absolutely fine (to reassure anyone who may have a DC with measles or suspected measles). But the inescapable fact is that you cannot tell where in the 70/30 your poorly child might be. Or if, within the 30, how serious is can get.

Complications of the vaccine are far far lower - even allowing for under reporting of side-effects.

CatherinaJTV Sat 20-Apr-13 08:44:16

Thank you WidowWadman - SSPE risk is about 1 in 20'000 overall, but much higher in the under 2's at time of measles infection.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 09:28:43

I have a question for the posters who are giving information about the potential for measles to be very serious (which of course it can be);

If measles is dangerous and must be vaccinated against as much as possible, why is the government continuing to withhold the single measles vaccine? Surely if the risks are so high, the correct public health decision is to do the utmost to protect the population and forget the politics? The government's position is hypocritical - they worry parent's terribly about measles but refuse to vaccinate against it other than by vaccinating against other diseases at the same time.

It looks to me like they are using a fear of measles in order to get the population to comply with a political decision and a dubious vaccination programme.

LilQueenie Sat 20-Apr-13 09:37:22

He had measles at time of death but that does not mean he died from it or complications from it. we need the final report. What I want to know is where does the first case spring from. I mean it doesnt just appear out of nowhere does it. Yet you have to ask where are the reports of the little cases? I would also like to know how many of the people who have the measles are vaccinated/not vaccinated. Surely it would show how good the vaccination is in itself if records like this were kept. I cant find a single report which says either way.

LilQueenie Sat 20-Apr-13 09:39:55

It looks to me like they are using a fear of measles in order to get the population to comply with a political decision and a dubious vaccination programme.

I agree with this. Why not offer the single vaccination. Money?Well the government are withholding expensive cancer drugs from dying people. Why not offer a single vaccine if it would help them get the vac coverage they want?

FrickingFedUp Sat 20-Apr-13 09:52:59

God this infuriates me so much. There haven't been many measles deaths in the last few decades because we have a vaccination program. Go back a hundred years or so and I'm sure you'll find plenty.

Let's go back to the good old days when this nasty conspiratorial government of ours didn't force us to vaccinate our children, but on the other hand we would be lucky if half our live born children made it to adulthood.

And yes measles tends to affect people with pre existing diseases more seriously. So isn't choosing not to vaccinate your children putting these at risk individuals lives in danger? Never mind the fact that the paper that linked the mmr jab to autism is taught in universities as the most flawed paper ever written, of course it is far more preferable to ignore the many robust studies after it that have found no link whatsoever.

Trust me, the NHS don't want the burden of any long term illnesses - if there was any proven benefit to the single vaccine they would offer that instead. The NHS go by evidence, not hysteria.

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Sat 20-Apr-13 10:24:27


If measles is dangerous and must be vaccinated against as much as possible, why is the government continuing to withhold the single measles vaccine?

Because the triple vaccine is no more dangerous than the single vaccine.
Unless you know different.

Do you know of any studies showing the 3-in-1 is more dangerous than three single courses, or do you admit it's idle speculation on your part?

LilQueenie Sat 20-Apr-13 10:28:32

but clearly people do not trust this. Is it then not better to offer the single vaccine?

AmandinePoulain Sat 20-Apr-13 10:32:13

Well said fed up.

I really don't understand the whole 'singles are better' argument anyway. I've asked before and got the 'too much at once' answer. But I thought the concern was that the measles vaccine was allegedly found in the bowels of a group of autistic children - so surely any measles vaccine could cause that? And do the same people that react in horror when MMR is offered have the same reaction to the 5 in 1 babies are given? confused This genuinely baffles me confused.

And the other argument, that young children don't need immunising against mumps or rubella ignores the risk that pregnant women or teenage boys are then put at by reduced levels if herd immunity. And yes I know that they could have their own immunity tested in an ideal world, but it's not an ideal world is it? I could never take the risk that my unvaccinated child could infect a pregnant woman with rubella that could cause her to miscarry. I just couldn't live with myself if I did so!

scaevola Sat 20-Apr-13 10:32:20

It was a bad decision to allow the single vaccine licence to lapse in the middle of a scare (assuming your aim was to get children vaccinate). But that was 15 years ago, since when there has been years more safety data as well as the retraction by the Lancet and the total discrediting of Wakefield.

But there's little point in raking over that decision now. Singles aren't going to be reintroduced. The safety record of MMR is good. The outbreak (if I heard the commentator on the news correctly) is hitting those who were infants at the time of the withdrawal of the single (10-15 year olds), and what is surely needed now is a targeted catch up campaign in that age group.

bakingaddict Sat 20-Apr-13 10:36:20

Sure lets have vaccination policy dictated by misguided but well intentioned parents.

If extra money has to be spent on giving single vaccines for measles mumps, rubella then cuts have to be made elsewhere. So we drop HiB, pertussis, tetanus, Meningitis C etc from the vaccination programme instead?

LilQueenie Sat 20-Apr-13 10:51:10

or we could cut the amount on boob jobs and other vanity procedures in the nhs. I mean the ones where people want something not reconstructive suregeries.

CatherinaJTV Sat 20-Apr-13 11:19:00

It was a bad decision to allow the single vaccine licence to lapse in the middle of a scare (assuming your aim was to get children vaccinate).

That is certainly correct and from a retrospective, epidemiological perspective it would have been great if the MMR had been introduced in steps, starting only with a fraction of the health trusts. Just like the introduction of the smoking ban a year earlier in Scotland than in England has given us lots of valuable data on the beneficial effects of such a ban, a step wise introduction would have given us the means to compare rates of suspected complications (autism and other) between neighbouring areas. Oh well.

Just read that the Swansea man who died may have caught measles from his infant daughter. So sad.

FrickingFedUp Sat 20-Apr-13 11:36:09

Do you mean reconstructive surgery for survivors of breast cancer? Because that is the only breast surgery I have ever seen being offered on the NHS. Yes let's let women who have been disfigured by a horrible disease suffer so that pfbs can have a single vaccine, instead of a perfectly safe one that protects against 3 deadly diseases.

Have I pressed the wrong button and ended up on the daily mail website or something?!wink

FrickingFedUp Sat 20-Apr-13 11:38:23

Sorry never heard of vanity procedures being done on the NHS.
Oh apart from old friend who had one dd cup breast and one that never developed. She lived with her alcoholic mother in a council house and was bullied mercilessly at school. She had surgery on the NHS because her mum couldn't/wouldn't afford it. Vain cow.

LilQueenie Sat 20-Apr-13 11:38:55

No you can get boob jobs on the nhs for other reasons. I said keep the ones for breast cancer survivors. Where the hell did I say those affected by cancer had to suffer!!!

LilQueenie Sat 20-Apr-13 11:40:13

Ok so its from the sun but I know people who have done this and I dont agree with it.

FrickingFedUp Sat 20-Apr-13 11:47:29

Lots of wonderful things are offered on the NHS that some people don't agree with, fertility treatment for example. The fact is the paper linking mmr to autism has been unequivocally disproved, so there is no sense offering single vaccines. It is both selfish and ludicrous for individuals to demand single vaccines. If the licence had run out it is probably more dangerous to offer the single one, the research on it isobviously not up to date and plus the mmr has now been used safely and effectively much more than single vaccines so it's effects are far better known. The NHS is not some massive conspiracy to make everyone sick - they act in the best interests of individuals and the community. You are not forced to vaccinate your children, but parents who don't choose to must take some of the responsibility when either their own or other people's children get a disease that could have been eradicated, and accept that other members of the community will consider them selfish for putting the community at risk. Especially if they are acting from a completely ignorant and misinformed standpoint.

FrickingFedUp Sat 20-Apr-13 11:52:26

Don't you see that papers like the sun are trying to provoke a hysterical reaction with stories like that? I have never, in all my adult working life in the NHS heard of a case like that. If people allow ridiculous stories like that to form their entire opinions on NHS policies, then no wonder they are taken in but horror stories about mmr vaccines from well intentioned but misinformed mums at the school gates.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 12:51:00

Ah but you see FrickingFedUp it is because I take measles seriously that I am an advocate of the single vaccine.

Let's face it, most of the discussions around the MMR focus on measles.

Mumps and rubella are rather different diseases with an entirely different risk/benefit ratio and context for the individual than that of measles disease and or vaccination. Which rather makes one wonder what these three viruses are doing in a combined vaccine in the first place. Their profiles are entirely different.

Also, according the the NHS's own website, the protection offered by the MMRII does not have the same duration for the three viruses.

Is MMR protection lifelong?

The immunity that MMR gives is probably lifelong. We know that people remain immune for at least 30 years against measles, 23 years against rubella and 19 years against mumps.

If in the future evidence shows that immunity is fading, it will be decided whether to offer a further dose of MMR to adults, for example.

If those numbers are in any way correct they pose a real problem. By vaccinating children with MMR we are in effect putting them at risk of waning immunity to rubella and mumps at exactly the time these diseases have the potential to be dangerous for them. How is that ethical?

I fear there are many many issues with MMR vaccines and their bad safety record is far from being the only issue.

Of course one other major issue is that it would seem that the protection offered to infants by passive immunity is not nearly as good when the mother has been vaccinated as when she has had measles.

So many parameters to consider...

AmandinePoulain Sat 20-Apr-13 15:23:05

Yes but beach does that mean that I should be ungrateful to my parents for taking me to have my measles vaccine? Maybe they should have let me catch measles and suffered the potential long term effects so that my theoretical future children could have passive immunity for longer. hmm

And can you please provide me with sound evidence that a single measles injection is safer than the MMR?

bumbleymummy Sat 20-Apr-13 16:51:25

Fed up, the singles measles vaccine Rouvax is made by sanofi Pasteur and is still in use in France. Why do you think it isn't as safe as the MMR? It's been in use much longer as well.

bumbleymummy Sat 20-Apr-13 17:03:34

I'm wondering why the risk of SSPE has increased. It used to be quoted as 1 in 100,000 (higher in children under 1).

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 21:29:38

No AmandinePoulain - it doesn't.

It means that public health is complicated.

I had a measles vaccine in the 70s and as far as I am aware have never had measles. Now that is good for me. But possibly not so good for my children who may have been vulnerable to the disease because of limited passive immunity at a time when they would not have been vaccinated and when the disease would be at its most dangerous to them.

So now, for my children's generation, everybody being vaccinated has become rather more important that it was previously because one of the most vulnerable populations (young babies) has become a victim of the vaccine programme.

I'm not saying that means that we shouldn't have been vaccinated. I'm saying it makes things pretty complicated in public health terms. And it changes things. It makes for all this adversity where it becomes up to others to vaccinate in order to protect a group - and I have serious ethical difficulties with that.

coorong Sat 20-Apr-13 22:18:20

"Victim" of a vaccination program hmm

Interesting way to describe something that's wiped out smallpox (which I received and now you benefit), polio (again I received and now you benefit) - or would you rather those diseases remain in circulation?

Measles can kill, mumps can sterilise, rubella can kill (foetuses), vaccines can saves lives.

Anti vaccine lobby is like climate change skeptics - ignoring the overwhelming stats and evidence and "sowing seeds of doubt" (the same tactics were used by the tobacco industry when government tried to link smoking and lung cancer- they sowed seeds of doubt by focussing on individual case studies, that's what the anti MMR mob do - sow seeds of doubt and ignore the millions of children who've had the MMR and and now not only extremely unlikely to catch the the diseases, but mitigate any disease spread)

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 22:30:46

Coorong, I'm not too sure what smallpox vaccination has to do with measles passive immunity.

I'm not suggesting that all vaccination in general is a bad thing. I'm looking at one specific element and finding it wanting with regards to how vaccinating one generation affects the following generation. I guess my opinion is that vaccination is like many other aspects of medicine - there are positives and negatives.

Creating a generation of babies who may be more vulnerable to measles infection at an age where the disease is dangerous to them, strikes me as a negative. It also strikes me as something that changes the general population's dependence on others vaccinating. Which in turn makes vaccination a political issue and not just a public health one. It makes it a societal issue rather than one of individual choice and informed consent.

I'm really uncomfortable with the ethics of healthy children being given potent non risk free drugs that are not (only) for their own benefit.

coorong Sun 21-Apr-13 17:31:11

Sorry how does MMR result in "Creating a generation of babies who may be more vulnerable to measles infection at an age where the disease is dangerous to them".

I really don't understand how vaccination makes you more vulnerable, I really don't.

Are you suggesting we should allow our populations to "evolve" natural immunity? That would take many generations of debilitating side effects and deaths. Think of the small pox?

And, You cannot ignore the societal implications of healthcare - be it the impact on the unvaccinated, the cost of treating severe cases, and the fact that we live in large, densely populated urban centres.

Face the facts, apart for a kooky websites, science, medicine and society in general support vaccination. Anti MMR campaigners keep company with homeopathy, moon land comspiracy theorists and climate change skeptics.

CatherinaJTV Sun 21-Apr-13 18:17:31

I'm wondering why the risk of SSPE has increased. It used to be quoted as 1 in 100,000 (higher in children under 1).

Bumbley, I don't think the risk has increased - differential diagnosis has just become better. See the best paper here:

WidowWadman Sun 21-Apr-13 18:18:23

If the vaccination uptake was high-enough the alleged reduced protection via maternal antibodies would not be a problem, as herd immunity would make epidemics impossible. Measles were supposed to be eradicated by 2015 if it hadn't been for the antivax lunacy.

Why would a single measles jab be more expensive than a 3 in 1? confused

Isn't it cheaper?

And wasn't the man who died vaccinated anyway?

'Think of the small pox?' Why? What got rid of that?

'Anti MMR campaigners keep company with homeopathy, moon land comspiracy theorists and climate change skeptics.'

I am all about evidence-based practice but also parental choice. The MMR or nothing rule is not choice. Parents make their choices for all kinds of reasons. Removal of this choice creates suspicion imo.

bumbleymummy Sun 21-Apr-13 18:43:28

Yes Starlight, he was.

Interesting Catherina. If there was an under reporting of measles cases, that could skew the data as well couldn't it?

CatherinaJTV Sun 21-Apr-13 18:52:00

of course it could skew the data - there is an algorithm in the paper I linked to, they find (have not read it in ages) about 1 SSPE case in 10k reported cases, but think it there may be about 50% underreporting? In Germany in 2006, there were only 313 reported measles cases amongst infants, but 2 SSPE cases, so some experts think that the risk might be a lot higher than the 1 in 20k (sorry, link in German, translate with google, maybe?)

UnimaginitiveDadThemedUsername Mon 22-Apr-13 09:37:19

It's not certain that Gareth Williams was vaccinated - there's only one news site that says

"She said she believed her son, who suffered from asthma, had been immunised against measles but had been ill for around a week."

And all the other sites carry a direct interview with Gareth's mother, who is urging people to get vaccinated so they don't have to go through what she's going through:

'Get your children vaccinated and get yourselves vaccinated. I wouldn't want anyone to go through the tragedy that we are going through... Gareth has taken part of us with him and we can never get it back.'

bumbleymummy Mon 22-Apr-13 10:03:20

He'd been in hospital with his asthma apparently. He had seen an OOH doctor the night before he died because he had been feeling sick and had come out in a rash.

bumbleymummy Mon 22-Apr-13 10:04:22

I wonder why the doctor hasn't suspected measles in the middle if a measles outbreak - particularly if he was unvaccinated.

MmeThenardier Mon 22-Apr-13 11:45:33

bubbly I just read an article which said he was covered in a rash apart from his arms. It inferred that it was the lack of rash on his arms which stopped them diagnosing measles.

scaevola Mon 22-Apr-13 12:02:06

" Measles were supposed to be eradicated by 2015 if it hadn't been for the antivax lunacy."

I'd be interested to see who had this aim an when. It is clearly not going to be met, but that's to do with the outreach in developing countries (just not the resources nor the impetus as there was for far dealier) smallpox) and is barely connected to take up rates in developed countries.

There never was a 'golden age' of MMR take up btw. The highest UK vax rates occurred when the singles were available in parallel. No matter how medically good a vaccine is, it's effectiveness is zero if it's not being given.

In the 1970s when there was a DPT scare, they reintroduced the DT alongside, because it was thought better to get as much protection into the children as possible. When obvious that there is a scare in late 1990s (and at time of Lancet publication, it wasn't remotely obvious there was no connexion), it was exactly the wrong time to withdraw singles. There was a huge call (including from HCPs) for licence to be extended until more research had been carried out and rates plummeted to under 50% in places. It is a pity health policy-makers in 1998/99 did not take a similar view to those of the 1970s. If they had, perhaps far fewer would be vulnerable now.

AmandinePoulain Mon 22-Apr-13 12:41:08

The WHO are hoping to eradicate measles in Europe by 2015

I can't see that happening now though sad

And where would we be now if cowpox had been erradicated?

AmandinePoulain Mon 22-Apr-13 15:13:56

Is that a serious question? hmm

Firstly, infection with measles is far more likely to result in long term complications than cow pox (sorry, I have no stats for that but isn't that a given?); and secondly infection with measles doesn't provide any advantages that I can think of wrt other infections hmm.

Neither did cowpox until it was 'discovered'.

Yes it is a serious question.

AmandinePoulain Mon 22-Apr-13 16:12:51

So we shouldn't be aiming to wipe out a global killer then? hmm

And you do know that small pox still exists, in vials anyway? So if we ever need it, it's there?

scaevola Mon 22-Apr-13 16:20:02

Got it!. You need to look carefully at their terms and definitions. UK would be currently in compliance as there is no endemic transmission (outbreak lasting over 12 months). And it covers only Europe, in the first place, and there have been at least two earlier deadlines which have been and gone (as opposed to one derailed grand plan).

Also, it's happy with MCV (ie any measles containing vaccine).

Kendodd Mon 22-Apr-13 16:27:18

Sorry to jump in a little off topic, but I wonder if anyone can answer this?

My mum claims that I had measles three times and german measles once (are they even related?). My mum claims a lot of things though so I don't know that I believe her. She said that I never built up any immunity to it. I'm 43 and wasn't vaccinated against anything.

Not cowpox iirc.

We should protect people from harm - yes.

Does that mean vaccinating? Perhaps, but it isn't necessarily the only way. And clearly it isn't working anyway.

Amongst many who are suspicious of government 'recommendations' are those who have already suffered at the hands of government recommendations. An element of politics will occur in all advice, and such advice will usually be based on whole-population stats rather than individual. I don't trust this government to make all their decisions in my interest, nor the last. Anyone who does without question, is a fool.

AmandinePoulain Mon 22-Apr-13 16:39:54

Cowpox isn't eradicated though.

What would you suggest then? Vaccination does work; if herd immunity had been maintained the current outbreak would have been very unlikely to have taken hold the way it has. Of course we should ask questions; but when all the evidence tells us that vaccination works and that long term side effects are far rarer than complications from the diseases themselves that is good enough for me.

tickelybiscuit Tue 23-Apr-13 09:31:23

Parents of a 18 month old child found it impossible to get their GP to submit a yellow card, when she died suddenly,ten days after receiving MMR vaccination. Up till then she had been very healthy. There may be up to 95% under reporting in adverse reactions so how do we know if any medicine in safe?

AmandinePoulain Tue 23-Apr-13 09:37:44

Do you have a link for that story? I would imagine that any GP would refuse to do so in such a case without proof that the MMR was a contributing factor. Surely a post mortum would be carried out before any conclusions were reached? In which case it would be up to the pathologist to make that call, not the GP. Also, anyone can fill in a yellow card, the parents could have done it themselves hmm

'but when all the evidence tells us that vaccination works'

But it doesn't. Though I suppose it depends on your definition of 'works'.

It appears to work at a whole population level, but it isn't guaranteed at an invididual level. Neither is contracting the disease, and neither is developing complications from the disease.

I am suspicious of anyone claiming that vaccinations are without risk. All medicines carry risk, both known and unknown. That the risk of not taking a medicine is more than taking it, is down to the individual to assess and many individuals would like more information before making their decision. Unfortanately requesting such information often gets a response of at best pity, but at worst ignorant ramblings about irresponsibility.

And for the billionth time, Wakefield did not say that the MMR causes autism. However, my db's consultant did say that the DTP was the probably cause of his kidney failure.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 09:56:00

My DD picked a dandelion on the way to school this morning, which i think might explain her bedwetting.

I know scientists say there's no proof that dandelions make you wet the bed, but people still say they do and theres no smoke without fire.

Actually, she picked a dandelion last week too and she's wet the bed two nights in a row now. So maybe it's true after all??? confused

AmandinePoulain Tue 23-Apr-13 09:59:06

Where did I say that Wakefield said that? confused
And where did I say that vaccination was completely risk free? Of course it isn't, the NHS list the possible side effects themselves! I said that the risk from harm is greater from the natural disease than the vaccination. So for me it was worth the tiny risks to protect my children. I also never said that it works for every single person who has it, which is why we need herd immunity. To protect the 5% (or whatever, depending on the vaccine) who it doesn't work for, or who can't have it for medical reasons.

People don't know enough about autism to know what causes it. Research is increasingly pointing to toxins that they are exposed to but what triggers autism in one individual as opposed to another wil be dependent on their genetic make up and predispositions.

My personal belief is that our factory maternity services cause a lot of autism, but that has not been proved though there is some research that shows it is an area worth investigating more.

Will the government/anyone do this? Nope. Because the implications are too potentially costly as our maternity services are run on a tight budget wrt care but with money thrown at the 'interference' provision.

Kendodd Tue 23-Apr-13 10:04:26

"My personal belief is that our factory maternity services cause a lot of autism"

Can you explain a bit more about that?

'I said that the risk from harm is greater from the natural disease than the vaccination.'

For everyone? Really?

Not for my terminally ill brother.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 10:06:10

Maybe picking dandelions causes autism too, Starlight.

After all, there's been no research to say a link between dandelions and autism doesnt exist.

yes. Interference with the hormones around the time of birth that sets the developmental pathway for the brain development, with particular regard for Oyxtocin (the 'social' hormone).

Babies are born to survive the environment they are born into. If they are getting the message through high levels of adrenaline and reduced levels of oxytocin, their developmental pathway is set for a more hostile world from which they must protect themselves and withdraw.

It's a theory Ken as there is a lot of research at the moment about how introducing Oxytocin artificially helps teenagers with social interaction. There used to be research that suggested autism was 'triggered' around the time of birth but that was stopped/not developed further. I think it should be.

I also think that even if I am right, it would not be the ONLY cause of autism. Autism isn't medically tested for, but diagnosed by identifying a list of behaviours, so the causes are most likely multiple.

AmandinePoulain Tue 23-Apr-13 12:16:34

I couldn't possibly comment on your brother's situation, and I am sorry to hear that he is so unwell; I was explaining my decision to vaccinate my children. For the vast majority of people the risk from vaccination is far lower than the risk from measles.

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 12:31:15

I know scientists say there's no proof that dandelions make you wet the bed, but people still say they do and theres no smoke without fire.

Do they? Dandelion is a known effective diuretic and has been known as such for a very long time, hence the idea that they make you wet the bed. I wouldn't take it too literally.

All you are doing is ridiculing people with valid opinions, often backed up by scientific evidence. Ridiculing and belittling is a great tool for winning and argument that you can't win on the facts.

tickelybiscuit Tue 23-Apr-13 12:56:09

I guess the bottom line is every parent has to make a choice. How do you get reliable information? I would not take any medicine unless I had read the patient information leaflet neither would I let someone inject my child unless I had the best idea of what the risks are. You can request a P.I.L on MMR from any chemist or your doc.
Then I would look at the actual number of recorded deaths directly resulting from measles (and not an underlying condition like asthma!).
After all that I might start wondering why the government needs a vaccine damage payment department.

tickelybiscuit Tue 23-Apr-13 13:04:31

Hi, the yellow card is designed for reporting 'suspected' side effects to a medicine, Sometimes further down the line a link is proven sometimes its not proven but large numbers of yellow cards covering a particular reaction to a medicine would indicate a risk prior to conclusive evidence being obtained.
The point is that any unexplained symptoms that occur relatively soon after taking a medicine should be reported esp when there is an unexplained death!

MmeThenardier Tue 23-Apr-13 13:06:55

Presumably hugobear if many many parents believed very strongly that dandelions were responsible for their childs autism some research would be done to establish if this were indeed true.

Not sure where you're going with that comment tbh.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 13:42:43

But it's a fact that MMR is safe, LadyFortescue. There's no research that says it isn't. So I'm a bit confused by you saying its not safe confused

The patient information leaflet says it isn't. confused

LadyGranulomaFortesque Tue 23-Apr-13 13:49:50

Sorry Hugo, can you just point me to the place where I stated that MMR was not safe?

I neither said it was safe nor unsafe. But as to your postulation that there is no research that says it isn't, well, that isn't really true. There is plenty of research that says that it can be unsafe for some kiddies. Some of that research comes from the manufacturer of the vaccine itself.

Even the JCVI do not claim that any vaccination is 100% safe. They just claim that as far as they know to date, it is the safest way to protect against disease.

What I did say to you is that your comparison with Dandelions is bollocks (and factually incorrect!)

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 14:03:21

Sorry LadyFortescue - I thought you said it wasn't safe.

Do you think it is safe then?

The patient information leaflet says it isn't safe for everyone.

Are circular arguments your best defense against something you're not all that clear about?

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 14:28:24

Well, penicillin isn't safe for everyone, but we still call it 'safe' because for most people it is safe. If you know what I mean wink

We don't vilify people for chosing not to take penicilin.

fwiw, My Grandma was allergic to it. It wasn't safe to her. I wouldn't 'call' it safe for her. It could kill her.

And actually i don't know anyone responsible that says penicillin is safe.

AmandinePoulain Tue 23-Apr-13 14:35:11

The difference is that your decision to refuse penicillin only affects you. If you refused to vaccinate your child against measles, and then he or she went on to contract it and unknowingly spread it to a 3 month old baby, and that baby died, then your decision has led to another's suffering.

AmandinePoulain Tue 23-Apr-13 14:36:57

Incidentally, would you refuse penicillin, if doing so would cause you serious harm?

CoteDAzur Tue 23-Apr-13 14:38:05

So what is your point? That if decision to not take penicillin affected others, you would expect people allergic to penicillin to take it anyway and face death, because they have some duty to others in the community? hmm

AmandinePoulain Tue 23-Apr-13 14:45:04

No, of course not! Where did I say that I would force anyone to do anything?! Starlight asked why we don't vilify people for refusing penicillin, I answered the question. Obviously if someone is allergic to something in the MMR (eggs for example) they wouldn't be offered it. Which is why such people require herd immunity for protection. Which requires others to take some social responsibility and take their non contraindicated children for an MMR.

'Incidentally, would you refuse penicillin, if doing so would cause you serious harm?'

Yes, if my family had a history of penicillin being fatal/causing other problems that I on balance would prefer less than those caused by refusing.

I would and do, also look at long term affects. There are good reasons to refuse penicillin even if it does not cause immediate health problems.

CoteDAzur Tue 23-Apr-13 14:48:56

"The WHO are hoping to eradicate measles in Europe by 2015"

It is not possible to eradicate a disease in a geographic area (1) by voluntary vaccination (there are lots of studies on this) and (2) with frequent & rapid plane travel with parts of the world where there is no such initiative.

Amanda, WHY do you think people don't inject their children with the MMR?

If it is a selfish act as you seem to think, what gains do those families and children have over and above yours?

Why are they being socially irresponsible? Why do you think they are chosing this?

CoteDAzur Tue 23-Apr-13 14:52:49

Amandine - I didn't say force, I said expect.

At the time when MMR is offered, babies will probably not be showing signs of autoimmune illnesses, mitochondrial disorder, or any other reason why they might be susceptible to vaccine damage.

So what do you do?

"Just give the jab and hope for the best" hasn't worked very well for many people, including some on this thread.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 15:58:28

Starlight - I'm still a little confused and I'm sorry if I haven't helped.

MMR is safe for most people but not all (eg people who've had cancer treatment). But those people are told not to have MMR anyway.

So are you saying its still not safe for people to take it even if tehy are not one of those special cases?

If that's the case then why are all the Welsh doctors/nurses etc being given it?

racmun Tue 23-Apr-13 17:12:40

Surely the point is that you don't know if your child will have a bad reaction to the MMR until it is potentially too late.

I don't think any parents chooses to go against government policy without long and hard consideration.

Why are done parent's Genuine concerns dismissed as bring socially irresponsible. Tea and sympathy won't get you very far if something goes horribly wrong nor will a letter of apology or whatever from the Primary Care Trust etc.

I feel sorry for people who have to rely on herd immunity and many on these threads in such a position are being very vocal in their disdain for those who have chosen not to give their child the MMR. The reason for their concern is to ensure the best possible outcome for their child which is all any parent should care about.

Social responsibility is /should be a secondary concern to any parent. I for one would not put my child at risk in preference for another. Call me selfish or whatever - I am doing what I think is right by my child and that makes me a good parent.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 17:30:29

But not knowing if your child will have a bad reaction is like not knowing if you will get run over by a car. It might happen but it probably won't. And everyone is saying that hte chance of being very ill from measles is much much much greater than something happening from the MMR - one person in a million??

'But those people are told not to have MMR anyway.'

That is not true. A thorough investigation of an individuals statistical likelihood to react badly to the MMR is not done. At a general level, 'some' advice is given for broad groups, but not at an individual level.

Otherwise the patient information leaflet would not show the possible side-effects, or at least say that they are only possible if you'd had cancer.

My brother could have been tested for his likelihood to react to the DTP but at whole population level that test would have been expensive, and carry its own risks probably.

For a child who will react to the MMR, for them that risk is 100%. Not 1 in a million.

And there are levels of knowing. No one would be certain that the MMR would have any bad affects on him after the DTP did, but it would be recommended that he didn't have it or any further vaccinations. His risk increases with the knowledge but that doesnt mean there are any certainty he will suffer from side effects of the MMR.

People can and do work out their own risk. Two of my children are unvaccinated against measles. One becaue he is too young and the other because she suffers from a number of autoimmune conditions where it has been recommended that she holds off for a while. My eldest with autism has had it, though it didn't cause his autism or as far as I can see make it any worse.

We've just been to a playground where a mother openly pushed around in a pram her child who had measles, declaring the fact hmm. Now that IS selfish. However I still won't be getting my children jabbed for the moment despite regular letters from the PCT and the GP.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 18:08:04

Hang on - you first said that some people aren't told to not have the jab, and then you say that your DD was told to wait???

DD wouldn't have been told to wait had I not read the research done further research and then got an expert opinion, off of my own back.

Nor was my brother told to wait, and it had what will be a fatal effect.

racmun Tue 23-Apr-13 18:31:39

Hugo bear

That's the point isn't it- it probably won't. Not definitely.

I don't walk my son down a motorway, as that would put him in danger. I judge the risks as I see them.

Also not everyone who has measles dies or has serious complications. I and my 4 siblings had it and we are all fine.

As far as I know it no investigations are taken into suitability for vaccines. It is very much one in one out and if you have the audacity to ask any questions you are treated like a pariah. The irony of the phrase herd immunity is not lost on me in my opinion the children are treated like cattle.
I took my son for a private consultation re a vaccination schedule. This lasted an hour involved extensive familial medical history and blood tests etc. The only reason the NHS don't do this is cost and a few vaccine damaged kids is collateral damage in the broader context.

I do wonder if they introduce the chicken pox vaccine into the routine vaccinations for children and people decline that that will then be accused of ignorance/selfishness. No doubt chicken pox will be the next killer disease.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 19:43:28

No, I don't get it. Being 100% convinced that you are going to be the one in a million that gets a bad dose isn't logical. hmm

That's like being convinced your going to win the lottery. envy

still, I suppose thats what the national lottery do to get people to buy tickets - it could be you!!!! grin

My brother was 100% likely to be affected by the DTP. It really didn't change things simply because anyone was convinced of anything beforehand.

You're making no sense.

For someone who is affected, their risk was 100%. It really doesn't matter what they were thinking before they got it.

CoteDAzur Tue 23-Apr-13 23:01:21

"Being 100% convinced that you are going to be the one in a million that gets a bad dose isn't logical"

You don't have to be 100% convinced that you'll get unlucky. You only need to be convinced that you might.

I really don't think it's 1/1mn, by the way, judging by the number of rational & articulate people I have met, spoken to, and read on MN who firmly believe that their children were damaged by vaccines.

CoteDAzur Tue 23-Apr-13 23:02:35

By the way, some of you people are confusing probability with risk.

If anyone's interested, I can explain the difference tomorrow.

HugoBear Tue 23-Apr-13 23:52:19

I dont know, Cotedasur - I heard about a woman who got a payout for her child she said was damaged by the vaccine but that was 10 days after he had it! How do they know it was the vaccine?? confused

When DD was a toddler she got ill with different things almost every week! 10 days was enough time for her to get two different bugs! I remember being worried about this and I spoke to the doctor and she said that this was quite normal in little ones as their immune system was under constant attack and it was just fighting away and building up immunity. And she's absolutely fine now and hardly ever gets ill, except for the occasional 24hr throwing up but i think that's because she doesn't wash her hands properly.

And shes been absolutely fine with the vaccinations too, better than our cat George who would always be a bit sluggish and showing his inner eyelids for a couple of days when he had his annual jabs (but that was because he had the cat flu as a kitten and did have a proper reduced immune system and everything).

'I dont know, Cotedasur - I heard about a woman who got a payout for her child she said was damaged by the vaccine but that was 10 days after he had it! How do they know it was the vaccine?? '

So on the one hand you're saying that we should all trust science and apparent 'evidence' and on the other hand you say your suspicious of it's truth!?

Well tbh I'm suspicious of your story. It takes YEARS and financial resources like you would not believe to even bring a case for compensation, let alone get it awarded and during that time the family are treated with utmost comtempt, put through pychology assessments and often raised for social services investigations.

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 09:08:52

That's a horrible thing to say sad. Why would I lie about my own DD???

bumbleymummy Wed 24-Apr-13 09:17:05

I don't think she's accusing you of lying about your daughter Hugo - I think she's talking about the boy you mentioned who got compensated for vaccine damage.

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 09:33:03

But it's true.

10 days is a long time for a toddler. Its very sad that this little boy got ill, buthow do they know it was the MMR?? My DD would come down with different sicknesses every week at that age.

CoteDAzur Wed 24-Apr-13 09:40:29

"how do they know it was the MMR?? My DD would come down with different sicknesses every week at that age."

Did she come down with any sicknesses that caused fits, convulsing, and left her unable to talk, walk or stand without help?

bumbleymummy Wed 24-Apr-13 09:54:13

As starlight pointed out - its incredibly difficult to claim compensation - it took this lady nearly 17 years. They don't give payouts willy nilly so they were obviously convinced that it was the MMR. Vaccine damage does happen you know. It can't always be dismissed as coincidence.

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 09:57:44

She got swine flu once. Her temperature rose and she was like a zombie. we took her to the out of hours service and they got us to take her home and monitor her temperature all night and told us that if it went above a certain number (cant remember what) then we should take her to hospital.

10 days?

It took them 16 years for just £90k which I doubt even compensated the family for the ending of the parents careers to care and continue fighting for justice.

To win a legal argument you need EVIDENCE. And for any compensation it would have to be bloody strong and cost a fortune to gather in independent witnesses, assessments and doctors, not to mention a legal team.

Not only that but I can tell you that even without the compensation fight it would have cost that family everything they had just to get support and an education for him.

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 10:13:55

bumblymummy - they dont say that no-one will be damaged that a vaccine. only that 1 in a million are unlucky.

Maybe it took 17 years for this lady to get the compo because not everyone thought the vaccine was to blame? Isnt the full amount more than 90000??

if they gave her less money than the full amount then that must mean that not everyone thought it was the jab. 10 days is a long time for a toddler!

Come over the the SN boards. See for yourself the extent that government bodies will go to in order to a)not set precendets, b)deny parents justice, c)keep jobs and budgets. Families are torn apart simply for asking for a wheelchair.

Then you'll have a teeny bit of understanding why 'because the government say so' is not a good enough argument.

It's another world. You probably wouldn't believe half the things on there and dismiss the posters as unhinged. That is how it can continue.

LadyGranulomaFortesque Wed 24-Apr-13 10:37:31

hugobear acts so naive and disbeleiving on this and other threads that i am starting to wonder if the opposite is true. angry plant maybe?

LadyGranulomaFortesque Wed 24-Apr-13 10:39:04

and for clarity I am being PC when I say 'naive'

'if they gave her less money than the full amount then that must mean that not everyone thought it was the jab. 10 days is a long time for a toddler!'

Do you understand anything about law?

You don't get awarded a graded amount according to the 'likeliness'. You have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that what you say happened did happen. It was either proved or disproved. If there was any doubt at all the award would have been zero.

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 10:54:58

LadyGranula - I'm just a bit confused when some people say 'the vaccine is safe and heres the proof' and theres some people who say 'the vaccine isnt safe but i cant say why'.

and when I ask questions I dont get a proper answer or get told that Im lying about people!

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 10:58:53

no starlight, thats not true - my BIL once had an accident and when he got compo it was a reduced amount because of other factors.

bumbleymummy Wed 24-Apr-13 11:04:30

Saying the vaccine is safe for the majority is not the same as saying that the vaccine safe for everyone. Vaccine damage does happen - you linked to one example yourself so why do you think that people are saying 'I can't say why' wrt why vaccines aren't safe for everyone confused

Do you believe that vaccine damage happens or not? Do you think the government really pay out (a paltry amount when you consider ongoing care costs!) just for the sake of it?

bumbleymummy Wed 24-Apr-13 11:05:32

IIRC the amount is determined by the percentage of disability.

LadyGranulomaFortesque Wed 24-Apr-13 11:05:33

Hugo, haven't we already been through the safe/unsafe thing ad nauseum? And you have been told why it is unsafe for some. Unfortunately, you choose to believe that even those who win 18 year long court battles for vaccine damage are making it up. There is no way to reason with you. You have been given straight answers every time you have asked, which you choose to ignore or completely misunderstand!

HugoBear Wed 24-Apr-13 11:08:26

I dont know why you are getting so cross with me LadyGranula. Especially when accused me of lying about you on another thread when all i did was ask a question that you havent answered. hmm

Blimey, I didn't know I was entering a cross-thread world where people are carrying conversations over from one to the other.

I couldn't possibly keep up with that.

Hugo I think all your questions have been answered and patiently. I don't see anyone cross here.

I'll bail out now. Feel free to post a comment about how I'm really only going because I can't answer a question about weeds or something.

Good luck.

LadyGranulomaFortesque Wed 24-Apr-13 11:13:47

The question was answered in the thread. Like I said on there, read the bloody thread. You have consistently misread or purposely misunderstood or ignored a wide variety of comments. I just called you on. You have blatantly said I have said things i haven't.

And I am getting cross at you because I am naturally impatient with those who basically lie to win an argument they just can't win.

LadyGranulomaFortesque Wed 24-Apr-13 11:14:30

Yes I am joining you starlight, before the big bruise on my forehead gets any larger from banging it against the wall.

For the record though, I am not anti-vaccine. I am anti-ignorance.

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