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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.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 10:43:34

Mrs deVere, I don't think you can say no-one shrugs off measles. Pretty much every single one of my childhood friends, my sister and I did. As with Porka, we were ill, but nothing more than the other childhood illnesses. I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'shrugging it off'. I would interpret it as recovering without any serious complications.

AuntieStella, would you approve of scare tactics being used to increase BF rates in the UK? Do they use coffins on their promotional material?

Odd, I started it because I dislike the way people are being lied to and risks are being exaggerated to scare parents into vaccinating. I think people should be able to make informed decisions, not decisions based on scare mongering propaganda. The reason I linked to the article was because it was discussing measles in the context of where it is a serious threat to the lives of many children and yet they still talk about well-nourished children being able to shrug it off in comparison to the children who have had poor nutrition all their lives. You don't get that sort of thing being written in the UK.

Why do you think it is acceptable to put coffins on vaccination leaflets but not on BF leaflets?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 10:50:03

Sorry, missed some earlier comments.

I haven't sid that it is Jayne. I'm pointing out that people don't even make that comparison in the UK even though the vast majority of children here are much better nourished than children in developing countries.

Grimma, it's not an anti-vaccination dig. It's an anti-propaganda dig. I find it distasteful to put coffins on vaccination leaflets to scare parents into vaccinating.

Domestic, it's not 100% effective so you never know.

Which illnesses were they different? Do you know why she decided not to vaccinate?

Jaynebxl Tue 18-Jun-13 11:38:37

I find the connection between vaccinating against measles and breast feeding quite bizarre. BF doesn't work for everyone ŵhereas vaccinations should be available for everyone. Scaremongering people about the dire consequences of not BF is really not helpful in many cases whereas one would hope that scaring people with the bare facts about vaccinations would be helpful in at least stopping people from thinking the jabs don't matter.

Jaynebxl Tue 18-Jun-13 11:39:02

Whereas, not whatever came out in the post!

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 11:51:37

What is the UK rate of excess deaths caused by not bf?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 11:57:16

Jayne, vaccination doesn't work for everyone either. Some parents can't vaccinate their children. I think it's a perfectly valid comparison. Why is it acceptable to use scare tactics (such as putting coffins on information leaflets) but not on breastfeeding leaflets? There would be uproar if the doh took that approach! The point is that people aren't being given the 'bare facts' about vaccination. Scare mongering about worst case scenarios is not giving people the 'bare facts'. You only have to read posts on MN to see how much misinformation there is about the vaccines, the diseases and 'herd immunity'..

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 12:12:02

Not sure about the UK but iirc it's an extra 4 deaths per 1,000 in the US.

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 12:23:22

I found that figure on google too - but it's over 20 years old.

I'd like to know UK figures, ideally with differentiation between unhygienic ff and issues inherent in different milk composition.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 12:43:50

So if your issue is with 'propaganda', what do you think about some of the anti-smoking adverts?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:00:25

Google away then Stella. smile

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:00:58

Oddsock, which ads are you talking about?

ReallyTired Tue 18-Jun-13 13:07:04

Some children are more vunerable to measles than others. Ie. children with asthma, suppressed immune system, heart conditions etc. The vacinnation only works for a round 90% of children, hence the booster.

It may well be true that healthy children can shrug of mealses, but not vacinnating them leaves a resviour of people for mealses to survive.

Wouldn't be good if we could wipe mealses off the planet in the same way that vacinnation has destroyed smallpox.

MissPlumBroughtALadder Tue 18-Jun-13 13:13:35

I agree with Bumbley. Not breastfeeding is a far greater public health issue than lack of vaccination.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 13:14:14

Oh any of them really, any that say 'you might die because of smoking'.

I'm not going to pretend it's a direct analogy with measles vaccinations, but smoking is something that for a fairly small minority can lead directly to lung cancer and death, but for the majority will not suffer debilitating or terminal illness.

Given that it's something done voluntarily, do you find it distasteful that smokers are provided with / bombarded with information on death rates (and sometimes quite strong advertising campaigns, eg the one with the tumour developing out of the cigarrette) but not the info on how many people go through life with minimal problem?

JakeBullet Tue 18-Jun-13 13:18:05

A child locally who was previously in very good health died from chicken pox in the last few years. Okay so it's not measles but the likelihood of complications from illness is greater than from vaccinations. And healthy children DO die and ARE left with complications from childhood illnesses sometimes.

Oh and btw, I have NEVER seen any promotional materials for vaccinations with "images of coffins". hmm . You sum up the anti-vaccination folk perfectly with that comment alone.

Don't have your child vaccinated, your choice but don't say you are being "scared into vaccination" either.

And I am sure if I had a time machine and went back to before the local child was ill to offer her Mum a chance to vacciinate against chicken pox I am sure she would take it in a heartbeat. But then she has seen a REAL coffin and not an imaginary one on vaccination leaflets. But you carry on in your narrow little world OP.

JakeBullet Tue 18-Jun-13 13:19:39

Coffins on vaccination said it again...are you fucking nuts? WHERE FFS have you seen this...a link please.

MrsDeVere Tue 18-Jun-13 13:22:41

No. To shrug off means to be entirely unaffected.

Which is impossible with Measles.

Using death to promote BF in India cannot be compared with doing it here. Thousands do not have access to safe FF in India. The babies are at risk from unclean water, dirty bottles and counterfeit formula, watered down formula etc.

This is not the case in the UK

JakeBullet Tue 18-Jun-13 13:22:50

Still waiting for the OP to show any official vaccination material with a coffin on. hmm

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 13:23:22

I've tried. I can find 20+ year old figures for US. But none for UK.

That's why I'm asking for in date, UK figures, if anyone here knows them (and MN has helpful experts in many fields).

Information campaigns to encourage bf already exist. Whether a separate one is indicated because of a rate of excess deaths depends on what that level of excess deaths is. Aside from that there do need to be clear warnings about the dangers of improperly prepared formula, even in a country like UK where there is a safe water supply, kettles in every home and sufficient literacy to read instructions.

JakeBullet Tue 18-Jun-13 13:27:42

.....and another in this thread minimising the effects of smoking. shockI have read it all now.....yeah many win't have a problem but thousands will HAVE problems due to smoking, lung cancer, chronic respiratory illnesses, heart disease. The risks are unacceptably high given that you cannot predict WHO will develop these illnesses and who won't. But then I have lost several older relatives to smoking related diseases which tends to give someone a unique perspective.

JakeBullet Tue 18-Jun-13 13:29:24

Fuck it...I am off, this thread is full of idiots folk who think everyone is lying to them.

OP if you ever DO find your imaginary leaflet with coffins on I will be amazed.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 13:31:31

I'm not minimising the effects of smoking! I've obviously written that badly. Sorry. Have also lost relatives because of that. Will try and re-phrase (when the toddler stops jumping on me).

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 13:38:05

The "coffin" illustration from a real on-line fact sheet published by NHS Wales,

CatherinaJTV Tue 18-Jun-13 13:38:24

here is the coffin - I find it a bit crass, but it is not wrong

Breastfeeding and vaccinating are not mutually exclusive, neither are the their respective adverts.

CatherinaJTV Tue 18-Jun-13 13:38:50

jinx AuntieStella grin

CatherinaJTV Tue 18-Jun-13 13:40:38

Side note, I have already received TWO reminders from NHS Lothian to get my DS caught up on his MMRs hmm (he had both of them before we moved the UK and our GP should have had his records. They certainly do now...

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:40:54

So you think scaremongering is acceptable for the sake of the greater good RT?

Some interesting facts about smoking from the US for you OddSock:

The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States.2,3
More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.2,4
Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women.1
An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.1
Smoking and Increased Health Risks

Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of—

coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times,1,5
stroke by 2 to 4 times,1,6
men developing lung cancer by 23 times,1
women developing lung cancer by 13 times,1 and
dying from chronic obstructive lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema) by 12 to 13 times.

Let's also not forget the impact that passive smoking has on people around those who voluntarily smoke.

CatherinaJTV Tue 18-Jun-13 13:43:38

but it is not a triage, Bumbley - you can actually advertise the dangers of smoking AND the dangers of measles. You sound a bit like my auntie, who did not want to give up her hair spray as long as there was still industrial use of CFCs

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:44:05

I hope Jake saw the links to the leaflets before flouncing. Doubt there'll be an apology forthcoming anyway!

RescueCack Tue 18-Jun-13 13:44:41

How are we defining "well nourished"? I see well rounded toddlers all the time who live on a grain and sugar filled diet. They are not what I would call well nourished, although their calorie needs are met. In fact, that's true of many adults I know as well! "Well nourished" is assumed very often, but if you have dark circles under your eyes, are fatigued, have IBS symptoms or a myriad of other minor health health issues in any combination, I would say the clues are there to suggest you are not well nourished. This does not equate to starving, but if your gut flora isn't healthy, your immune system will be significantly compromised.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:49:45

Catherina, I'm confused by your posts. How does your auntie not giving up hairspray relate to me thinking it is scaremongering to use coffins on vaccination leaflets?

CatherinaJTV Tue 18-Jun-13 13:49:47

it all comes back to the infamous (anti-vaccine) tautology

1. Measles is a harmless disease in healthy children
2. If your child suffered from measles, s/he wasn't healthy, because
3. Measles is a harmless disease in healthy children

that is ever so slightly insulting, but ever so handy for followers of a particular ideology (well, the child did not eat enough/too much of -insert whatever you fancy-)

CatherinaJTV Tue 18-Jun-13 13:51:22

adverts against smoking and adverts against measles are not mutually exclusive, that was my point. I don't doubt that smoking is more dangerous to the health of the smoker (on average) than measles is (on average) on the health of the patient. But both campaigns are possible side by side, just like aunt AND industry should give up CFCs

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:51:34

Very true Rescue. I would still say that the majority in the UK are still better nourished than most children in developing countries though. Wouldn't you?

DomesticCEO Tue 18-Jun-13 13:53:20

Your stats on deaths from not bf are utter BS bumble.

Absolute nonsense.

And you have the gall to criticise others for scaremongering hmm.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 13:56:45

OP, you said you don't have a problem with vaccinations, just with the way the information/propoganda on them is delivered.

I don't have an issue with telling the harsh facts of what can potentially happen if you don't get your child immunised, i.e. worst case they can die.

I don't have an issue with telling the harsh facts about smoking either.

What would your wish be for information provided on measles? Would 'the bare facts' be that very few die, some live with serious complications, most get through it okay, and some simply shrug it off.

Would you find it acceptable to apply that to another preventable illness?

In saying 'some shrug off measles' that's minimising and damaging.

Death rates are relevant (when comparisng to smoking for instance), but more to the scale / targeting of any public health campaign.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 13:59:05

Haven't caught up with the whole thread but the link provided for my benefit on the hospitalization associated with FF was a study in Manila. Not the UK.

I don't like propaganda either... I've looked at the link to the leaflet, it doesn't strike me as such. It describes itself as an 'infographic' - the information appears correct, presumably the graphics are to attract attention and perhaps for the benefit of non-English speakers - death is a possible consequence of measles so that coffin (just the one, not 'images of coffins plastered over...') was probably the least shocking option they could think of (what else could they use? skull and crossbones? tombstone?)

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:59:36

No Catherina, this is not about 'measles is harmless disease' . Tbh I'm a bit fed up with the way anyone who raises an objection to anything to do with the current vaccine schedule or how it is promoted being labelled as 'anti-vax' and having their opinions dismissed.

I think distorting facts and exaggerating risks and using shock tactics to frighten people into vaccinating is wrong. Those tactics would not be applied to encourage uptake for BF even though FF also poses a risk (yes, moreso in developing countries - just like measles!) and people would find it very offensive yet for some reason people don't seem too bothered about it in relation to vaccines.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:03:32

Domestic - go and google. There are plenty of US studies showing that there are increased hospitalisations and a higher incidence of respiratory and gastro-intestinal illness and SIDS in babies who are FF compared to BF even in the US. Where do you think all the information about the 'benefits of BF' come from?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:04:51

OddSock, yet you seemed to have a problem with giving the 'bare facts' about the risks of FF compared to BF. why?

Twiceover Tue 18-Jun-13 14:05:32

But a man did sadly die in the recent measles outbreak in South Wales so a coffin is not necessarily scaremongering?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:06:28

Why use it at all Grimma? Where else do we put coffins on leaflets about children's illnesses/diseases? I haven't seen it anywhere else. Have you?

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 14:09:33

The originally linked article was about how a child dies as a result of malnutrition every 15 seconds. It was in the news because a group of charities are lobbying G8 this week on this topic.

It made e point that this doesn't mean they are all starving to death, np many die because they are more susceptible to infectious diseases.

There was no mention of vaccination in the linked article. Possibly because measles was mentioned only once in passing as an example.

There was a longer discussion of the benefits of bf in saving lives in countries where there is severe malnutrition. And as I pointed out above, at least one of those countries does use "death" in its public information. As indeed does the group of lobbying charities.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 14:10:14

I don't have a problem with the bare facts of FF compared to BF, I'm fairly sure that's included in SIDS information already, however given that it is thought to be a contributing factor (and the reasons are still not clear) rather than a direct causal link, that makes it different to measles.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:12:08

Not from measles twice over. He had asthma and had been hospitalised for that the week prior to his death. He had also been vaccinated against measles although he still caught it and the doctor didn't recognise it (there could be a whole other thread about that!) and sent him home. Shocking and tragic for his whole family.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 14:13:05

>I think distorting facts and exaggerating risks and using shock tactics to frighten people into vaccinating is wrong

what facts have been distorted? The leaflet refers to 'possible consequences' - this is accurate. If it said 'probable' or 'likely' or 'common' that would have been a distortion - of course, it doesn't.

If the leaflet was as you described in the OP you might have a point but honestly, is one coffin graphic amid a whole sheet of other images 'shocking' or likely to make a parent 'terrified'?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:13:52

Not in the UK though AS.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 14:14:28

In fact can I change that to 'potential contributing factor, yet to be proven or really understood' rather than simply contributing factor.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:14:54

That's good to know OddSocks. Although you did say that you didn't think coffins would be necessary earlier in the thread. Are you changing your position on that?

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 14:16:23

I havene't seen another coffin, but there is explicit mention of the 13 whooping cough deaths in some of the leaflets for that disease, and more general 'risk of dying' in others. I'm pretty sure that meningitis leaflets mention death, as do handouts for HPV immunisation.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:17:14

Grimma, distorting facts wasn't only referring to that particular leaflet. I would attribute 'shock tactics' and scaremongering to that though. They don't seem to use such extreme tactics in any other area of public health.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 14:17:15

>Why use it at all Grimma?
What other graphic (given that they wanted an 'infographic') would have conveyed the message that a possible consequence of measles is death?
Leaving this out would have been a distortion of the facts.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:21:58

AS, there's mentioning that death could result from meningitis in a leaflet (and the chance of dying if you contract meningitis is much higher than measles) and then there's using a coffin to show a possible consequence. Should we just agree to put coffins on all the health information leaflets where death is a possible outcome then? Diabetes, asthma, what else?

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 14:22:12

If you're old enough to remember the 80s, then you'll remember the huge TV ad campaign for AIDS "don't die of ignorance" featuring gravestones. A far more high profile death-based campaign than one Welsh leaflet.

So I don't agree that shock tactics are only icw vaccinations.

MrsDeVere Tue 18-Jun-13 14:23:18

The coffin was not presented in the way I expected, given the amount of upset it caused.

It is a small part of the leaflet and is factual. It is crass but look at any medication and you are likely to find 'death' next to the 'possible side affects (or is it effects? Gah!).

It sounds terrifying but its a fact.

Death is a real and possible consequence of Measles. The only reason we don't think of it that way is because children don't often die of Measles and that is down to less children getting it. That is down to vaccination.

I am not anti- anti vaccers. I have learnt a lot about why they chose not to vaccinate their children. I respect many of their views although I am very pro vaccination for my own very solid reasons.

That leaflet had to get a message across to people who may have never even heard of Measles.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:27:43

Ok, I guess you'd all support a campaign to make some nice easy-to-understand infographic messages for all illnesses then with coffins being the graphic of choice for death. Fair enough. I still think there'd be a huge fuss if they were putting on BF leaflets though.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:34:24

Well, maybe not Jake. S/he seemed pretty appalled at the idea. Although maybe s/he'd change her opinion now that it's a genuine leaflet rather than some kind of imaginary 'anti-vax' propaganda. hmm

CatherinaJTV Tue 18-Jun-13 14:34:45
GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 14:37:29

The point of an information leaflet is to encourage the outcome best for public health. In the case of BF'ing, a better outcome is likely to arise from promoting the many positive benefits of it rather than focussing on the possible negatives. Its a very different case to vaccination where its really all about avoiding the possible negatives.

ubik Tue 18-Jun-13 14:39:53

This thread is bizarre

You are comparing very different things as if they are similar confused
None if it makes sense.

Yes you should vaccinate, not getting measles is better than getting it.

No you shouldn't smoke if you want a healthy, active old age.

Yes breast feeding is a good thing to do, but so is giving your child formula milk rather than dilute condensed milk (which is among many things people used to give children)

All this is common sense

(But not in mumsnet land where nothing is straightforward)

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:40:41

1 in 10 is much bigger than 1 in 5-10,000 (based on outbreaks) or the 1 in 1,000 that is now frequently quoted.

Second one is a bit misleading saying 'prevented by vaccination' alongside Men B being the most common cause considering that we don't have a men b vax yet.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 14:41:22

If you can give figures on deaths directly caused by not breastfeeding then maybe it would be worth discussing, but currently I don't think anything is proved in the slightest - even with SIDS there are many other potential factors, and only sleeping on the stomach has had cause for a public information campaign.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 14:42:03

I'd have been appalled by 'images of coffins plastered over the promotional material' ...the gothic mental image produced by the OP was quite different to the reality of the leaflet.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:42:34

Grimma, actually people are promoting the idea of stating the disadvantages/risks of FF rather than the positives of BF because BF is the biological norm and should be the default rather than FF.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:43:11

You've missed the point ubik smile

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:46:49

OddSocks - you don't have to go down the SIDS route. Increased risk of gastrointestinal illness/diarrhoea/respiratory illnesses in children who are FF.

more US info

I need to go out shortly so I'm not ignoring people if I don't respond. Just rushing around a bit now!

Look at the actual UK figures from the mid-20th century onwards here. If you exclude wartime and the immediate post-war years then death rates range from 1 in every 813 cases of measles (in 1999) to 1 in every 13302 cases (in 1990).

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 14:53:43

>actually people are promoting the idea of stating the disadvantages/risks of FF rather than the positives of BF

which people? (In the UK I mean - the problems of FF in the third world have a different balance of risks). Not sure the that would be a good idea in terms of the psychology of motivating women to BF.

ubik Tue 18-Jun-13 14:56:23

I am frontline NHS - could you tell me what the point if thus thread is, exactly.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 15:10:10

Tolliver, if you look at figures from other countries with large outbreaks (eg.Italy) the figures tend to be closer to the 1 in 5-10,000 mark on average. Unless they do take worst case scenario years to get the 1 in 1,000?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 15:11:34

Grimma, apparently it is. There have been quite a few discussions about it over the years and I've already seen some 'risk of FF' promotional material but it may have been US. Will try to find it later when I get home.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 15:17:54

Ubik - read the thread. I'm not directly comparing measles with smoking and bf - it's how awareness about them is promoted in different ways and why it is acceptable to use scare tactics in some instances but not others even though all are health related.

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 15:22:17

Well, in places where there are an estimated 250,000 deaths because babies are ff, then risk of death is used in health promotional material.

And that is what the link in OP is about- the terrible scourge of malnutrition. Not just hunger/starvation, but all the other deaths too it causes too.

CatherinaJTV Tue 18-Jun-13 15:24:02

Germany had a 1700 case outbreak in 2007 with 3 encephalites (one with permanent damage) and 2 deaths in toddlers (one with an immune defect). The US had a 55000 case outbreak in 1989-91 with 125 acute deaths (plus at least 11 cases of SSPE since).

There will be underreporting, but the number of 1 reported death in 1000 reported cases pans out pretty well.

AdoraBell Tue 18-Jun-13 15:30:13

I ate well as a child, as did my OH. I was ill for two weeks, have no recollection of the middle 4 days when my temp was so high I was not lucid, and OH lost most of his hearing. And neither of us had a sever enough case to need hospitalization.

This is why parents in developed countries are encouraged to vaccinate. You seem to be confusing measles with the common cold, they really are different.

differentnameforthis Tue 18-Jun-13 15:34:35

DomesticCEO It is very sad! To see her after the first visit was like looking at a ghost! I was hoping she would change her mind. But no.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 15:35:58

OK - found this on the BF/FF thing - maybe there should be more 'risk of FF' slant then.

However, doesn't seem too much evidence there that would warrant a coffin among the other graphics... the excess mortality associated with FF versus BF is related to SIDS (for which 'factors associated with breastfeeding, but not breastfeeding per se, were associated with a lower incidence of SIDS') and 'injury-related death' sad -presumably not in any way a causal relationship.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 15:38:21

I do hope you're not referring to me in 'people are agreeing'. If you can show me something as clear as 'death from measles was caused by measles' then we'll talk.

Spidermama Tue 18-Jun-13 15:48:44

Twiceover "But a man did sadly die in the recent measles outbreak in South Wales so a coffin is not necessarily scaremongering?"

Did he? Do you have a link to this? Last I heard on the news they were investigating whether or not measles played a part in his death then I heard nothing more. They seemed to let everyone assume this was the case - unless I've missed something.

Spidermama Tue 18-Jun-13 15:50:03
OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 16:09:25

You know what, before it gets any stranger, I'm out of this thread. I don't think I'm going to agree with the OP's opinions.

I think everyone who can be should be immunised, I don't see any problem with that NHS Wales leaflet produced, I'm not keen on smoking and I don't have a problem with FF but think mothers should be helped to BF where possible.

Can't see how this has got so complicated.

OddSockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 16:10:07

That may well be my first flouce smile

Spidermama Tue 18-Jun-13 16:14:59

A lovely polite flounce it was too Oddsockmonster.

curlew Tue 18-Jun-13 16:21:16

And some healthy well nourished children do shrug off measles. Trouble is, you don't know until too late whether your child isn't of the news that does, or one of the ones that ends up in hospital for two weeks.

merrymouse Tue 18-Jun-13 16:21:28

Using completely anecdotal information and no statistics, both my brother and I shrugged off mumps and German measles (vaccinated against actual measles). That does not mean that many people didn't suffer very serious complications from both, or that vaccination isn't a good idea.

Children in developing countries without basic nutrition and medical care, I would imagine, tend to do rather worse than I and my brother did in the seventies.

Were parents panicked during the recent scare? I thought they were just encouraged to check jabs were up to date.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 18:45:49

No, Adora, I'm not confusing it with the common cold. hmm No one is arguing that it can't be serious in some cases but over 95% of deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructures (WHO).

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 18:54:12

Grimma, yes, I think I posted that link earlier. [[ Here's an example that has gone for the 'risk of formula' approach.

Oddsock, Was your 'people are agreeing' post directed at me? I'm not sure where I've said that...

merry, well the ones who were interviewed certainly seemed very worried and parents were queuing outside pop-up vaccine clinics. Maybe 'panicked' is too strong a word but they were certainly very worried and worked up about it. Isn't there actually a bit of a questionmark over the extent of the outbreak now too? Something to do with over reporting and only a small percentage of cases being sent to the lab actually being confirmed as measles?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 18:54:50

Sorry Grimma, here's that link again

valiumredhead Tue 18-Jun-13 18:58:46

God,I didn't shrug measles off,I was off school for 6 weeks. Weirdly was talking to a friend today who told me she'd lost her hearing in one ear due to measles as a child.

TheFallenNinja Tue 18-Jun-13 19:06:50

Seriously? Eat your five a day and you'll (probably) be fine?

What a load of reckless rubbish.

valiumredhead Tue 18-Jun-13 19:20:13

The thing is it's not 'serious in some cases' it's serious in LOTS of cases, kids can go deaf, have eye problems all sorts of complications. So you might not actually die but you might end up with pretty serious complications.

merrymouse Tue 18-Jun-13 19:25:35

Hmm. I happened to be staying in Wales with IL's when this was in the news. Off the telly it all seemed pretty normal.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 19:27:10

Personally I find that BF leaflet rather scarier than the vaccination one. (Maybe because I know BFing can be hard to achieve even if you want to do it. Maybe because I'm more influenced by words than graphics)

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 19:31:02

"Children in developing countries without basic nutrition and medical care, I would imagine, tend to do rather worse"

Yes. 28% of them die.

And drawing attention to the effects of malnutrition was what those in link to OP were hoping to achieve.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 20:42:00

Which it did but I also noticed the comment about measles and it got me thinking...hence thread smile

tabitha8 Tue 18-Jun-13 21:18:16

The gov't's agenda is to promote vaccination. One way to do that in an outbreak is to use propaganda that will frighten people into vaccination clinics. It obviously worked.

Incidentally, why do so many get complications?

garlicnutty Tue 18-Jun-13 21:28:09

Personal experience is not data ... but I know my experience is normal for my generation, so it makes a kind of data! I was breast-fed to six months, had a near-perfect diet (pre-fast food, home-grown veg and mother a nutrition geek), and was very ill with measles. Had mumps and chicken pox, too, as did all my sibs and school friends. We did not 'shrug them off' although we didn't die, obv.

OP, if you think good nutrition renders vaccination unnecessary, why don't you talk to some older women about watching your well-fed child suffer with a series of potentially fatal or debilitating diseases?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 21:59:06

Where have I said that 'good nutrition renders vaccination unnecessary'? hmm

DomesticCEO Tue 18-Jun-13 22:07:49

That leaflet is utterly ridiculous and you could probably find other studies that have totally different stats.

Scaremongering nonsense.

And I have seen mad pe

DomesticCEO Tue 18-Jun-13 22:08:58

I have seen mad people on here claim bf protects against childhood illnesses even if you're not saying that in so many words.

Your attitude is not going to help improve bf rates.

merrymouse Tue 18-Jun-13 22:17:30

Second sentence of your op.

Where you suggest that parents should be reassured.

Unless 'don't worry, children have never died from measles in the uk on the same scale as in developing countries, but should they develop measles, they might well end up in hospital and there is no guarantee that they wont suffer a life limiting disability' is reassuring.

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 22:38:20

Domestic, BF does protect against some childhood illnesses. Why do you think that is mad? I'm not sure why you think the leaflet is scaremongering nonsense. I don't think there's much there that you wouldn't have heard before from the 'breast feeding protects against/reduces the risk of' angle.

As for 'your attitude is not going to help improve breastfeeding rates' - what on earth are you talking about?

bumbleymummy Tue 18-Jun-13 22:41:56

Merry, my second sentence is nothing like 'healthy eating renders vaccination unnecessary.' hmm

I do think that saying that most children will come through measles without any longterm complications is reassuring compared to bring told 'your child could die if they contract measles' particularly when we live in a country where the chances of them dying are fairly small.

merrymouse Tue 18-Jun-13 22:49:42

But the government don't want to reassure people that most people will live through measles. They want them to get vaccinated so that the disease is eradicated and nobody suffers complications.

What's the point of reassuring somebody that measles isn't that bad if you think that vaccination is necessary?

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 22:51:09

Maybe parents aren't being 'reassured' because if that leads to them complacently thinking they don't need to vaccinate their well-fed child (a) their child might be one of the unlucky few and (b) we need herd immunity to protect those who can't be vaccinated.

>my second sentence is nothing like 'healthy eating renders vaccination unnecessary

you may not have intended it, but it does read that way. Why else would parents be 'reassured'?

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 18-Jun-13 23:11:23

I agree with this thought. Also I think if the "authorities" were that much in a flap about measles they would talk more about Vitamin A. Measles is known to deplete vitamin A and they should say - if you've got measles take a supplement, just one dose will help. Why don't they? Because they want everybody to be frightened half to death, rather than nip down to boots and buy a vitamin tablet.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 18-Jun-13 23:12:22

"They want them to get vaccinated so that the disease is eradicated and nobody suffers complications."

It won't be eradicated, and anyway there'll still be vaccine side effects.

bumbleymummy Wed 19-Jun-13 07:28:49

Merry, so you think it's ok to exaggerate/emphasise the risks so that people are scared enough to vaccinate? Fear is the way to go? Fair enough. You're entitled to your opinion.

curlew Wed 19-Jun-13 07:57:15

I don't think it's right to exaggerate the risks-
But they certainly need to be emphasised. Most well nourished children do shrug off measles. Some don't. Trouble is, you don't know until too late which group your child falls into. And people forget. It only takes a generation.

merrymouse Wed 19-Jun-13 12:34:49

Yes, in circumstances where people are put at risk because of erroneous underestimation of risk.

merrymouse Wed 19-Jun-13 12:36:39

Equally, I wear a safety belt because I am frightened of the consequences of not doing so.

DomesticCEO Wed 19-Jun-13 12:53:55

You are constantly contradicting yourself - you think it's terrible that people are being 'scared' into vaccinating yet you are prepared to make out that ff babies are dying because of not being bf hmm.

DomesticCEO Wed 19-Jun-13 12:55:44
bumbleymummy Wed 19-Jun-13 13:46:40

Domestic, you're completely missing the point. I'm wondering why it is apparently acceptable to scare people into vaccinating but it wouldn't be considered acceptable to use the same approach to scare people into BF. (ie. putting a coffin on the BF promotional information) FF does result in some deaths - yes, moreso in undeveloped countries but that is the same case with vaccine preventable diseases too.

Are you trying to deny that FF carries risk?

DomesticCEO Wed 19-Jun-13 14:00:00

I'm saying you're completely exaggerating the benefits of bf and that the leaflet you linked to puts stats in such a way as to try and make women think they're harming their babies by ff.

If ff is properly prepared and strict hygiene is followed and babies are demand fed, etc, the risks of ff are absolutely minute.

bumbleymummy Wed 19-Jun-13 14:07:56

Domestic, it's not my leaflet, I didn't write it. If you have a problem with its content or the claims that the NHS, the HPA and the WHO make about breastfeeding then take it up with them.

merrymouse Wed 19-Jun-13 19:53:02

I think the government would argue that catching measles carries more risk than being formula fed.

merrymouse Wed 19-Jun-13 20:01:39

Anyway, just how scary are these leaflets?

Are they as scary as that bit in Watership down where all the rabbits get myximitosis (sp?).

I have been doing this parenting thing for 10 years now, and can't remember any really scary leaflets. Maybe the midwives, Hv's and doctors can sense that I am a bit of a light weight and have been withholding the hard stuff from me.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 19-Jun-13 20:10:25

>I'm wondering why it is apparently acceptable to scare people into vaccinating but it wouldn't be considered acceptable to use the same approach to scare people into BF. (ie. putting a coffin on the BF promotional information)

there is a clear case for measles being a direct cause of death in a small proportion of cases (in the UK - large in the third world). There is not a clear case for FF being a direct cause of infant mortality in the UK.

You assert the coffin was used to 'scare people into vaccinating' - I think it was merely used as a graphic conveying one of the possible outcomes of measles.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 19-Jun-13 21:23:09

No, it was used to scare.

curlew Wed 19-Jun-13 21:33:36

Well, if reason and logic won't persuade people, then maybe.........

tabitha8 Wed 19-Jun-13 22:05:37

Going back to Crumbled's point about vitamin A, I haven't seen anything at all in the media about how to deal with a case of measles. Why is that? Shouldn't such information form part of the public health campaign?
Or would we be less likely to take up the offer of a jab if we knew how to deal with the disease? Perhaps that's what the gov't is scared of.
There's plenty of information available about how to deal with Chicken Pox.

curlew Wed 19-Jun-13 23:32:06

Vitwmin A does not treat measles. People who are vitamin A deficient are more likely to suffer daly from infections like measles, but vitwmin as deficiency is incredibly rare in the developed world.

Giving vitamin A to children with a deficiency is very effective. Giving vitamin A to children who are not deficient has no effect and can, actually in the long term, in some cases, be harmful, because the body does not excrete excess vitwmin A, but stores it in the liver.

My healthy, well nourished child is not very likely to suffer long term harm from measles (though there is a real and significant-enough-to-me risk), but the baby next door who she passes it on to may have a higher risk (maybe the baby is FF). I couldn't bear to have indirectly caused the death of someone who was at high risk by not immunising on the basis that my DD would probably shrug measles off. The coffin may not represent the risk of death to your child, but the risk of death across the while population, transmitted through the pool of unvaccinated people.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 00:05:21

' The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) issued a joint statement recommending that vitamin A be administered to all children diagnosed with measles in communities where vitamin A deficiency (serum vitamin A <10 µg/dL) is a recognized problem and where mortality related to measles is &#8805;1%. '

That's probably why its not given much of a mention here - its not applicable.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 00:13:18

>Or would we be less likely to take up the offer of a jab if we knew how to deal with the disease?

The NHS has advice here - and guess what, we're all wrong (mislead by crumbles post)- they DO talk about vitamin A. It took me about one second to find this by googling 'measles treatment'.

There you go. No sinister plot to hide information and scare us into vaccination hmm

sashh Thu 20-Jun-13 01:27:30

From the WFP's website - not a medical or scientific qualification in sight.

Jane Howard works for the Division of Communications at WFP’s Rome headquarters. A former BBC correspondent, she has lived and worked in Iran, Turkey, Syria and the former Yugoslavia.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 06:10:49

Really Grimma. Have you heard one word about Vitamin A in relation to this recent measles outbreak on the news? In the papers, on the TV, on the radio? Let's not forget the authorities are sufficiently in a two-and-eight about measles to put coffins on info graphics and spend 20 million on a fresh MMR campaign. This is a deliberately induced panic. And let's not forget that measles mortality and long term morbidity is dramatically affected by Vitamin A levels. Now which health minister, pray, talked about this on the news, on the radio, which doctors, which public health spokesmen or women, which mainstream correspondents? Hands up anyone from Swansea who went to their GP and heard the words Vitamin A from their GP?

Do not mislead us all Grimma: if you google "measles Vitamin A" not one of the sources on the first page is the NHS. When you do eventually find the NHS resource, it's also misleading. "Vitamin A supplements have been shown in some studies to help prevent some of the serious complications arising from a measles infection, although it is not clear how they help." Deliberately intended to make it look like a sort of maverick, untested idea. Not well-tested and recommended by the WHO.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 06:33:35

"Giving vitamin A to children with a deficiency is very effective"

As it is a deficiency which can lead to death and damage, and as we are being warned about death and damage, it is not a great leap to estimate that some of the death and damage we are being deliberately terrified by, could be caused by Vitamin A deficiency and prevented by a supplement. Yes, even in this country, where malnutrition affects millions - even obese people.

Most people know about "overdosing" on Vitamin A - and if not they can be told about it. Advising people to take a multivitamin containing Vitamin A during a measles outbreak is hardly going to kill them Curlew. Please don't engage in even more scare-mongering.

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 06:47:54

I'm not scaremongering. However suggesting that a vitamin A supplement will protect a child without a deficiency from the rare but serious complications of measles is inaccurate. Children in the developed world can obviously be deficient in some vitamins, but it it incredibly rare to be deficient in vitamin A. And giving vitamin A to a child with measles who is not deficient has no effect at all.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 06:54:36

Slight change of tune to say these complications are now rare. All the pro-vaccinators talk about is how common they are, how many people go to hospital, how many people die, measles is deadly, get vaccinated or you'll die (coffin images etc etc.)

But now that's rare? - so rare it's not worth advising people to take a
multivitamin containing Vitamin A during a measles outbreak? But not so rare it's worth spending 20m on a vaccination campaign? and terrifying parents into having a vaccine, possibly extra doses of a vaccine, which does indeed have serious effects if it goes wrong?

Tell me Curlew, what would be wrong with advising people during a measles outbreak to take a multivit containing Vitamin A - since some of the damage and death were are told about could be prevented by sufficient Vitamin A. What, exactly, would be wrong with that?

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 06:55:27

When I say slight, I mean to say, of course, massive, unreasonable and a complete about face.

Jaynebxl Thu 20-Jun-13 07:53:11

Rare because less children get the illness in the first place. Hmm now why would that be?!

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 09:09:40

Technically, the number of people dying from measles reduced dramatically when the NHS became available and people had better access to healthcare and antibiotics for secondary infections.

DomesticCEO Thu 20-Jun-13 10:06:29

Breatheslowly, being ff does not make you at higher risk of contracting measles or suffering greater consequences from the illness if you do contract it hmm.

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 10:25:21

Nothing would be wrong with suggesting taking vitamin A- except that it would have no impact on the level of complications in the developed world and would give people a false sense of security. And nobody has ever said that the risk of complications from measles is anything but rare.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 11:06:24

> if you google "measles Vitamin A" not one of the sources on the first page is the NHS.

Of course not. Because the net isn't that parochial and the benefit of vitamin A in countries where there is (a) widespread vitamin A deficiency and (b) less vaccination (and probably (c) malnutrition as well) is massively more important than it is here. If you do the most obvious search for how to treat measles, you get the information, which seemed perfectly straightforward and neutral to me.

As to what the media does and doesn't report - that's another matter entirely. I don't doubt there's been plenty of the normal woeful mix of alarmism and pseudoscience as ever in some quarters.

expatinscotland Thu 20-Jun-13 11:12:04

Plenty of people had excellent nutrition and extended breast feeding in my father's childhood and infancy, and died of measles, polio, diphtheria, TB.

The belief that good nutrition is a shield against dying or becoming seriously ill or disabled from communicable disease is the most ignorant thing I've read.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 11:20:37

I don't think anyone has suggested that it offers any guarantees but people who are malnourished are more likely to suffer complications from illnesses.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 11:22:48

>I don't think anyone has suggested that it offers any guarantees but people who are malnourished are more likely to suffer complications from illnesses.

Absolutely. That was the point of the original article.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 11:23:41

'It' being nutrition in the above post.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 11:24:18

Yes, Grimma. Have I said anywhere that it wasn't?

expatinscotland Thu 20-Jun-13 11:24:56

Well, duh, bumble' that's so self-evident a person would have to be thick as two planks if unable to puzzle that out.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 11:30:47

Do why did you say this then?

"The belief that good nutrition is a shield against dying or becoming seriously ill or disabled from communicable disease is the most ignorant thing I've read."

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 11:31:02

Where did you read it?

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 11:43:29

'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? ... Considering that the majority of children in the UK have no problem with good nutrition ... why aren't parents being reassured ...'

The implication of your OP was that because we have good nutrition in the UK we can be laissez faire about vaccination.

expatinscotland Thu 20-Jun-13 11:44:57

I use my brain, bumble, to make rational and logical connections between cause and effect in the universe. I can even come to conclusions without having to use someone else's words published online to back them up. Magical, isn't it? It's called critical thinking.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 12:17:48

No Grimma, that wasnt my point. I was wondering why they push the idea of death being a consequence of not vaccinating in a country where death is unlikely due to our access to good nutrition (and healthcare) in comparison to developing countries.

Expat, what do you think I'm asking you? You stated that it was ignorant to believe that good nutrition was a shield for diseases and when I pointed out that it doesn't provide any guarantees but it does make a big difference you've started going on about that being self evident, using your brain etc. Where did you get the impression that anyone was saying it guarantees protection?

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 12:19:40

And also, Grimma, why it is acceptable to take that approach for vaccines but not for others.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 12:28:49

>No Grimma, that wasnt my point.

It appeared to be in the OP - that's what the title and the first part were about.

>why it is acceptable to take that approach for vaccines but not for others
As someone has pointed out, there were images of death in AIDs publicity - for which (unfortunately) there is no vaccination. There are plenty of death-related images for other things which can cause death - drink-driving and anti-speeding campaigns.

You're making a lot of fuss about one image among many in one leaflet and making arguments which don't really stand up to scrutiny.

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 12:32:04

They don't "push the idea of death"

They point out that there are possible complications of, for example, measles, and that children have died.

The anti vaccination brigade are always saying that people are not told enough about the possible complications of vaccination. However they are now complaining about people being told about the possible consequences of the disease. They can't have it both ways!

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 12:33:47

I slightly misread what you meant by 'that approach'... I was thinking about the use of images of death in information rather than 'push the idea of death being a consequence of not vaccinating'

well.. I don't think one image in a sheet in a section of 'possible...' amounts to 'pushing death as a consequence of not vaccinating'. It is a merely a statement of death being a possible outcome of measles. Which even in this country is true, even though it is not common.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 13:17:52

There's the 'anti vax' label again. hmm

So would you be happy with it being put on BF material and/or formula cartons then? It's merely a statement of it being a possible outcome even though its not common...

What about if we put it on the side of paracetemol and other medications as well?

DomesticCEO Thu 20-Jun-13 13:32:26

Your constant comparison between measles and ff is meaningless. We are constantly told of the benefits of bf and knowing the benefits is not the reason people generally don't bf - way more complex than that!

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 13:41:22

Leaving aside the question of whether formula feeding or paracetamol lead to death (and because aspirin has been linked to death in a very small number of cases we are advised not give it to children), there is atleast an upside to giving a child formula (prevents starvation if no other feeding options) and paracetamol (reduces fever).

Is there an up side to a measles epidemic?

I realise that some people do not agree with vaccination, and that is fair enough. However to start from a position that measles is no more harmful than formula milk is just plain wrong.

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 13:48:40

It is on the literature accompanying paracetamol, isn't ? Along with may cause headaches!

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 13:55:55

>So would you be happy with it being put on BF material and/or formula cartons then

If you put it on a formula carton, someone would be bound to think that meant it would be better to use cows milk or mashed potato or something. Formula is the best alternative to BF so its ridiculous to suggest such a thing hmm. And as I've said, there isn't a clear causal link between FF and infant mortality. So this is a stupid analogy.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 13:58:12

>It is on the literature accompanying paracetamol, isn't ?

the words - not the 'scary' coffin. Medicines data sheets aren't infographics - if they were, maybe the symbol would be used (among others for rashes etc)

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 14:05:24

Who is starting from a position of 'measles is no more harmful than formula milk'?

Domestic, but maybe if we scare people with a few tombstones on the side of the container (after all it is possible even if its not common) then more people would continue BF. ( for some reason I feel the need to put a disclaimer after this for you because I think you get the impression that I think we should put tombstones on the side of formula cartons/on BF leaflets - I am not saying that. I'm wondering why one is considered acceptable but the other is not.

Curlew, I haven't seen any tombstones on the side of a Calpol bottle recently. Maybe they should put them on the accompanying literature though just so it's easy for people to understand...

Grimma, deaths have been caused by formula though - without even going into the 'its not as good as bf because it doesn't protect against x,y,z' formula itself can be contaminated.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 14:06:16

Replace tombstones with coffins for Curlew.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 14:06:35

Or stick with tombstones if you prefer... smile

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 14:06:44

Ofcourse they do have those very scary signs showing people falling off cliffs along the Pembrokeshire coastal path. It's a wonder people aren't fleeing over the Severn bridge in droves what with the scary signs.

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 14:16:36

The risk of electrocution signs are pretty graphic too.

Can you link to any deaths caused by properly done formula feeding please?

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 14:20:59

Well there is your answer then. Measles is more harmful than formula milk.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 14:34:54

Merry, they can both lead to death - moreso in developed countries, yes, but both can lead to death.

Curlew, what do you mean by 'properly done' - are you trying to rule out human error? Because unfortunately making up formula is part of FF so if there's a risk there, there's a risk.

examples of contaminated formulas leading to withdrawals

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 14:41:30

Developing not developed

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 15:03:20

Contaminated anything could lead to death.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 15:08:48

Does that negate the point that formula milk can be contaminated and can lead to deaths? I don't think we can discount human error in making up feeds either. Most of the mums I know who use formula don't make up the bottles according to guidelines.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 15:12:19

Even breast milk.

>I haven't seen any tombstones on the side of a Calpol bottle recently
Given that paracetamol overdose is used as a means of suicide, that could be a 'drink me' sign for some sad. You have to think these things through a bit more carefully.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 15:37:31

Right Grimma, that would be the reason for them not putting it there...

Clearly some of us are not going to agree on this. Just shows you how powerful propaganda can be!

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 16:08:27

By that reasoning, there should be a "danger of death" warning on a packet of Bisto. If you make it up with water with poo in it, you might die of food poisoning.

This is a very, very silly discussion.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 16:15:58

> Just shows you how powerful propaganda can be!

To counteract years of anti MMR propaganda without which the outbreak in Wales probably wouldn't have happened, you need something a bit more striking than you would otherwise.

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 16:31:14

So you can't actually link to any evidence showing that feeding a child formula milk has been directly linked to a death in this country.

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 16:34:33

Do you have children? How old roughtly are they?
Did you have any of them vaccinated?

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 16:35:23

Hi btw. Late to thread I know!
[I dont think you will mind though!]

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 16:36:15

And again, incorrectly made up formula milk may be linked to death, but correctly made up formula milk is also linked to not dying of starvation for those babies where there is no other alternative.

DomesticCEO Thu 20-Jun-13 16:38:14

I was going to ask the same thing merry, please link to a single case of ff leading to death in this country.

Emperor Thu 20-Jun-13 16:41:34

bumbley, I hope you do not take these comments anymore seriously - this is just ridiculous!

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 16:41:55

I just found this : 'Save The Children has called for cigarette-packet style warnings on boxes of formula milk covering a third of the packaging that explain why breastfeeding is so important'.

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 17:00:08

"bumbley, I hope you do not take these comments anymore seriously - this is just ridiculous"

What is?

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 17:09:22

I'm with mrsdevere. I was expecting an ad along the lines of the AIDS ads of the 1980s. That tiny rather twee coffin shape is used as a visual aid for those who may not read very well, or may be glancing at a poster in passing. It's hardly shocking.

OP you are clearly very anti vaccination. I can't see the point of this thread tbh. I think it is far more irresponsible to suggest healthy well nourished children will "shrug off" measles and therefore there is no need to vaccine eye. And unlike the minute coffin symbol, your advice may do actual harm.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:23:46

Yes, curlew, you could argue that but it seems that it is deemed suitable under some circumstances but not others.

The outbreak in Wales may not actually be as big as originally thought - over reporting etc. All the media coverage and propaganda did a great job of getting the vaccination rates up though so I guess that's all ok then.

Yes, yams I have children. In not sure what their vaccination status has to do with this thread. Would you ask for any other details of their medical history?

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:28:10

And yet another out with the 'anti-vax' label. Seriously, where have I said anything about not vaccinating? hmm

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 17:28:12

What exactly do you think is the master plan behind this allegedly unnecessary vaccination op?

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:29:02

Yes, merry, and breast milk saves baby from starving too. What is your point?

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 17:29:11

So what exactly is your point? If you're not anti vaccination, why is this an issue to you?

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 17:29:53

>it seems that it is deemed suitable under some circumstances but not others.

Obviously. Its pretty clear to most people what the difference is. Sorry you haven't got it yet.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:30:21

'Allegedly unnecessary'? Do you actually know what this thread is about chub? <hint It's not anti-vax>

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:30:21

bumbleymummy. Because I have a theory.
Either you have or you have not chosen to vaccinate. Or even, you are in a huge dilemma about what to do.

So instead you are focusing on something else to do with the issue, so that you can have some mental peace about your decision.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 17:32:25

I'm afraid you are under the misapprehension that you are making yourself clear.

I'm struggling to tell what the thread is about in all honesty

<clue - that's down to your lack of clarity not my lack of intelligence>

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 17:33:21

>hint It's not anti-vax

That's what it comes across as though.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:33:40

It's ok Grimma, I'm not alone in my opinion of it. The difference seems to be that some people have been convinced that scaring people into vaccinating by using emotive graphics to emphasise risks that are fairly minimal in this country while others do not.

Chub - I don't like the way they're going about it. I would have thought that was clear from my previous posts.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 17:34:35

OK well I think the first paragraph of my first contribution to the thread responded to that.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:36:08

You're entitled to your theories yams.

That's ok chub, you don't have to contribute if you don't know what it's about.

Grimma, only because anyone who mentions anything that suggests that they may not agree with some aspect of a vaccine/schedule/campaign is labelled as anti-vax. It's a bit silly really.

lljkk Thu 20-Jun-13 17:36:40

There used to be someone on MN, Annie something? She had ID twins who caught measles at around 7 months old on the back of another illness. One twin came thru fine but the other one was left with loads of problems (cognitive & physical). And the poor mother had constant proof of how her child was supposed to turn out instead. Well nourished healthy western babies with access to the best medical care.

Anyone recall Spidermama's detailed accounts of measles sweeping thru her home, 4 or 5 children had it all together. SM was very anti jabs so glad they had the real disease. The week of enforced indoors silence, darkness, high fever, thirsty constantly dry throats, etc. Not to mention being villified as source of an outbreak by local papers. SM had no regrets, though. It sounded like Hell to me. I couldn't stampede fast enough to doctor to get DS's slightly overdue MMR.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:37:16

You're entitled to your opinion chub. smile I still think it is unnecessary and a deliberate scare tactic.

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:38:21

I think you have vaccinated under duress, and feel very narked about it.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 17:39:17

Knock yourself out op. I have contributed, on the point you say the thread is about, as have others. As we can't see the scare mongering you allege, you discount out opinions. Perhaps you're just a little over sensitive to this ad campaign?

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:41:10

Yams, I don't do anything under duress smile

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:42:16

Chub, I don't expect everyone to agree with me, some people have. Thank you for your contribution.

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:45:25

In which case, you did it, but against your own principles and beliefs and research.
And that irks you. So now you are trying to mentally pin the blame on something.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:48:55

I sincerely hope you aren't a detective or a psychologist in RL yams grin

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 17:51:58

>I still think it is unnecessary and a deliberate scare tactic.

heaven knows there was enough 'unscary' information out there before this outbreak, yet too many people were still swayed by Wakefield's - what shall we call it, mistake? - and media misrepresentations into doing nothing. Probably quite a few were confused by the 'controversy' about MMR versus single jabs and ended up doing nothing (having being led into thinking there was a problem with MMR but lacking the resources or determination to get the singles). And you know what? Some sections of the media were still talking about 'controversy' during the outbreak.

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:52:00

Aha. No denial.

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 17:52:38

I might agree with you, bumbly- if I understood your point.......

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 17:57:17

The point is that, as I said before, there is a point to using formula milk if you can't breastfeed.

There doesn't seem to be much point to having measles.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 17:58:54

Grimma, you obviously think using fear is ok in some situations. We just draw our lines in different places.

I doubt it curlew - you think the leaflet is fine.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 18:01:52

No, I just don't think that leaflet was very fear-inducing. Nothing like the scare stories in the preceding years. We've had so many threads in the past on MN of women scared to vaccinate.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 18:02:22

merry, we also seem to draw our lines in different places.

I don't think that disagreeing with a particular approach to printing vaccination is the same as saying 'let your child catch measles' so your above comparison wrt formula/bm isn't really the same.

curlew Thu 20-Jun-13 18:02:59

I haven't even looked at the leaflet! I just think that telling people that children do die of measles, even if it is very rare is the right and responsible thing to do. And telling them that taking vitamin a will make any difference at all in this country is a wrong and irresponsible thing to do.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 18:05:05

Well you've just said that the campaign was necessary to push people into vaccinating so people's scare stories about measles mustn't have been enough for others and they found the poster scary enough. Or maybe the over-reported outbreak was enough.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 18:06:02

Sorry curlew, mixed you up with chub.

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 18:13:32

So you think vaccination is a good idea, but the leaflet was too scary.

Do you think people would have been motivated to vaccinate their children if they had been told "We'd like you to get your child vaccinated but really they could take some vitamin A and they are probably well fed so there isn't really any risk".

Do you not think that parents would be justifiably upset if the link between measles and death had not been made clear to them and they had decided not to vaccinate?

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 18:13:34

Do you regret vaccinating your children?
I dont think that you do.

But I dont think you liked doing it in part, because you had fear.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 18:15:29

>they found the poster scary enough

Maybe they just found it sufficiently clear and full of correct information.
And/or the media (mostly) making it clear that the wakefield 'research' was totally discredited at last probably helped. Or just the simple logic - oh, measles does actually happen in the UK and there's a simple way to protect my child against it.

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 18:15:37

Which I suppose is fair enough.
But we all in life have to weigh things up in order to come to some sort of decision.
And, on balance, you decided to have them vaccinated.

You ned to make peace with yourself about that decision.
Some decisions are harder to make than others.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 18:48:23

Merry, the truth is that most well-nourished, healthy children who contract measles would be fine. I don't think it's right to play on people's emotions by scaring then into thinking that if they don't vaccinate their child will die. Particularly when the only option being offered is the controversial vaccine that parents were genuinely worried about. I've said previously that I think the single measles vaccine should have been available and if people were genuinely concerned about controlling the outbreak then that should have been an option.

Grimma, or the media hyping up every case as they did with swine flu a few years ago.

Yams, my children's medical records are not relevant to this thread. I think you should stop speculating. I actually think it's a bit rude.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 18:50:31

See, it is an anti vaccination thread.

The vaccine was only controversial because Wakefield said it was. He's been struck off. His credibility is in tatters. Do we have to rehash these issues?

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 18:51:32

My MIL nearly died of swine flu in the winter of 2010/2011 and sustained permanent lung damage. She now had oxygen piped through the house so she can breathe.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 18:54:22

Chub, you clearly want it to be an anti-vax thread. Why don't you go and start one yourself? 'Wakefield said this. Oh, no he didn't. Oh yes he did.' You know how it goes. Good times

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 18:57:04

Sorry your MIL had complications. I don't know her health re ord nor do I care to speculate on it. I'm sure you aren't going to argue though that swine flu wa not what it was made out to be for the vast majority of people and the daily tallies of every case just hyped the whole situation up. The media actually have a lot to answer for in many of these situations!

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 18:58:12

I don't want it to be anything. You have an issue with the vaccine itself and the advertising campaign connected with the recent outbreak. You started a thread on those topics. Did you just want "oh yes isn't it awful, I gave Tarquin some elderflower cordial and vitamin b12 and he was fine"?

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:02:52

Where have I said I have a problem with the vaccine? I said I thought the single should be available for people who didn't want the MMR. If people were genuinely concerned about it spreading then they have cared which vaccine was used as long as it encouraged more parents to vaccinate. Yeah, really anti-vax hmm

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:03:23

Shouldn't* have cared.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 19:05:50

The point is people only want single vaccines because they have been frightened by Wakefield about mmr. There is no real need for single doses.

You do sound very anti mmr actually.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 19:06:45

The single vaccines are not licenced in this country so it's hardly a case of not caring what was used, we simply don't have them.

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 19:07:37

Parents were genuinely worried about the vaccine because of the erroneous reporting in the media, not because they had access to good information.

The suggestion is not that if you don't vaccinate your child against measles they will die. The suggestion is that if vaccination levels are so low that we have a large outbreak it is highly likely that somebody will die, a very small number of children will be left permanently disabled and a large number of children will be very ill for a while and it will be very unpleasant.

If you understood from that leaflet that your child would die if they didn't have the vaccine, that is unfortunate, but I don't think there is any evidence that anybody else thought this.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:09:41

Well I sound anti-vax to you so I'm not surprised that you think I'm anti-MMR.

Anyway, who cares why people don't like the MMR, if you're trying to prevent an outbreak you should just do what it takes and if that includes providing a single option for those who would otherwise choose nothing then so be it.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:11:46

The single vaccines can be brought in if required. They're available in private clinics in the UK and they are manufactured by the same company as Pediacel (the 5 in 1)

yamsareyammy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:17:09

Chubfuddler, I dont think it is an anti - vaccination thread per se.
As she herself has vaccinated her children.
But she did it in part, because of fear, brought about by the leaflets.
And she doesnt like to be in fear of anything. Or controlled or manipulated by anything. Hence her aggresive tone throughout this thread, as she tries to control things and people around her.

But, as occasionally happens in life, 2 sets of ideals meet. And collide. And 1 set of ideals has to give way to the other.
And it takes a while for a person to come to terms with that.

In this particular op,she got "controlled" by the leaflets.
The way they are produced, made her "give in" and vaccinate her children.

She, ideally to her, didnt want to vaccinate her children. But the leaflets were designed in such a way, that they frightened her, so she gave in.
But she doesnt like to be controlled by anything, so hence the thread .

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:25:43

I'm aggressive now too? confused good grief!

FWIW I don't live in Wales. The leaflets were not distributed where I live. I've already asked you to stop speculating.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 19:27:43

Well your concern on behalf of the people of Wales is commendable.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:29:40

hmm Do you tend to only pay attention to things if they're happening in your own back yard? Not important otherwise?

DomesticCEO Thu 20-Jun-13 19:32:40

Providing a single vaccine is not an alternative that the NHS feels is necessary - it's expensive and not as effective and as a link to serious side effects is unproven why would they do that?

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 19:32:49

I don't pay much attention to public health adverts that aren't aimed at me tbh no.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:37:28

Domestic, it is as effective actually (more propaganda) and if the Doh were genuinely concerned about controlling a major outbreak then they shouldn't care which vaccine achieves that.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:39:42

Fair enough Chub. Why are you on this thread then?

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 19:40:36

Because I have an issue with the opinion asserted in your title.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:45:45

But the ad wasn't aimed at you - why pay attention to what my opinion of it is?

DomesticCEO Thu 20-Jun-13 19:50:36

The DoH is sadly not in a position to say "to hell with the expense" bumbly hmm.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 19:54:10

It would be a lot more expensive if any of them end up in hospital with complications from measles. Worth a thought...

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 20:01:54

The ad wasn't aimed at you either.

Is it just children in Wales who won't suffer from much with measles if they have a good diet then?

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 20:02:36

Yes it would be more expensive. So probably a good idea for them to have the vaccine on offer, non?

DomesticCEO Thu 20-Jun-13 20:03:50

But they wouldn't have complications from measles would they bumbly, cos they would all shrug it off with their extremely healthy diet hmm.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:07:34

Chub, but I'm not the one who said "I don't pay much attention to public health adverts that aren't aimed at me tbh no."

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:08:15

Chub, if they'll have it. If they refuse to have the MMR would you rather they had nothing?

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 20:09:28

You know what would have happened if the NHS had made single measles vac. available in Wales? Some of the newspapers (the ones who still spout about MMR being 'controversial') would have turned it into vindication of the anti-MMR crowd.

>The media actually have a lot to answer for in many of these situations!
In all sorts of ways.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:10:16

Most of them would Domestic but I haven't denied anywhere that some children do have complications.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 20:11:06

Your title said nothing about the Wales outbreak. Not a sausage. It did sound a bit dim though so I thought I would take a look.

It's a bit strange to start threads you apparently don't want responses to.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:11:49

Grimma, that tends to be the argument but I don't think that should be standing in the way of stopping a spreading epidemic - do you? Do you think worrying 'what will people think' is a good enough reason?

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:12:51

Where did you join Chub? The leaflet was linked to fairly early on iirc. You don't have to hang around if you don't want to smile

GrimmaTheNome Thu 20-Jun-13 20:22:23

If 'what people will think' results in a continuation of insufficient uptake of the most effective means of protection against the various diseases then its a reason.

As I understand it, the main problem in Wales now is the large numbers of secondary age children who remain unvaccinated. That - I would assume - can't have much to do with the unavailability of the single measles jab since the supposed issues with MMR were in young children. So that's a bit of a red herring.

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 20:24:28

Here are some arguments against single vaccinations.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:25:46

If it hasn't been made unavailable on the NHS in the middle of the whole media scare about the MMR then they probably would have been vaccinated against measles when they were younger.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 20:39:01

Merry, I've seen those arguments before. See responses below.

1) to protect against measles required 2 trips to the GP for the single vaccine - same as MMR.

2) As above, the measles vaccines can be spaced at the same intervals as the MMR. We're talking about protecting against measles here - not mumps and rubella.

3) The single vaccine, Rouvax is used in France and is manufactured by sanofi Pasteur - the same manufacturer that makes Pediacel. If you don't trust them to produce a safe measles vaccine why do you trust them to produce a safe 5-in-1.

4)I have expressed my views about this 'what will people think' attitude above.

5)Similar to 4 and the only reason private clinics are offering it is because there is a demand. If the NHS were offering it, they wouldn't need to.

Yep, got to love propaganda!

Also surprised by the rate of SSPE quoted there. Most sources quote a risk of 1 in 100,000 (used to be 1 in 1,000,000) but higher for under 1s.

merrymouse Thu 20-Jun-13 21:01:29

1) Presumably you think there is no need to vaccinate against mumps and rubella and children also shrug these off? Or is your theory that its best to wait for an outbreak before you decide to vaccinate.

2) Why bother with these vaccines if the most tested and safe vaccine is MMR. Brand name does not denote safety.

3) Are people really demanding single vaccines? Seems to me most people in Wales are quite happy with MMR.

I am assuming you define propaganda as "things that don't support my world view". I have no reason to believe this journalist has any particular axe to grind.

bumbleymummy Thu 20-Jun-13 21:16:01

No, merry, I think there is no place for mumps and rubella in a discussion about protecting against measles in an epidemic. However, there is an argument to be made for delaying those vaccines and there have been several threads that have discussed that.

The Rouvax vaccine has been in use for years. I'm pretty sure it was the one used in the UK before the MMR and may have been the one I had as a child (would have to check records) Why would you trust a company to safely test one vaccine but not another?

Well it doesn't seem like the clinics are short of business so there is obviously still a demand for them.

No, that's not my definition of propaganda. It's got nothing to do with my world view. I just think the arguments are poor for the reasons outlined above.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 22:04:35


All children in developing countries diagnosed with measles should receive two doses of vitamin A supplements, given 24 hours apart. This treatment restores low vitamin A levels during measles that occur even in well-nourished children and can help prevent eye damage and blindness. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50%.

I see bumbley is getting a bit of a beating for suggesting well-nourished children fight off infectious disease more effectively. Who knew? hmm

tabitha8 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:11:49

Isn't it true that measles actually depletes our levels of vitamin A? Hence the need to supplement even if we have enough normally?

That would tie in with the WHO comments. It's the use of the word "during" that implies that measles does somehow use up our stores of vitamin A.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 22:17:33

Yes, exactly Tabitha. If a child has a sufficiency, or a bare sufficiency, or a mild deficiency, who will know - it probably won't manifest itself until someone gets measles. Given the problem of malnutrition in the UK it's completely reckless and irresponsible not to consider this as a possible contributing factor to reaction to the illness. So where is the harm in recommending a multivit during outbreaks? There is none. And especially given that the DoH is very happy to recommend a treatment which carries risk of severe damage, but is not necessary for, and will not benefit, 90 - 95 per cent of children at all - that is an MMR "booster".

tabitha8 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:24:01

Unhelpfully, this doesn't explain how measles depletes our stores of vitamin A, but it does make the point:

"Acute measles precipitates vitamin A deficiency by depleting vitamin A stores and increasing its utilization..."

I have friends who still call the second does MMR a "booster".

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:24:26

Certain people with an agenda like to push that one. They don't say it in UK because it isn't true. I had it when young and I had excellent nutrition- I can still remember how ill I was and I was only 5yrs old.

tabitha8 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:30:09

Like to push what? Vitamin A? It's the CDC saying it, not me.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:45:35

Push the 'shrugging it off'. You can get complications however healthy you are.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:47:01

My children are far too precious to risk someone's idea that you are fine if you are well nourished.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:48:43

In my mother's generation children died- the well nourished were not immune. People have short memories.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 23:53:42

Exotic I don't think you quite understood the quotes from who and CDC and the CDC link from Tabitha. Measles depletes Vitamin a in well nourished children. So if you had a sufficiency, when you catch measles, that's depleted. Thus the recommendation for a multivit - that's why it's irresponsible NOT to reccommend a multi-vit. In addition, it's not just now that children are malnourished!
In your mother's and previous generations a healthy recommended diet was quite different than now. A hundred years ago, when measles deaths were more common, children were considered well nourished on dumplings, bread and butter pudding, boiled beef and bread and dripping. You can check out a good housekeeping guide from a century ago.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 23:55:03

ps I'm not suggesting your mother was a child a hundred years ago. That would be plain rude! And don't forget, you were ill because you had an illness, and it would have felt dreadful. I can remember measles. I was ill and it was horrid. Now I'm fine. So are millions of others.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 20-Jun-13 23:56:24

And the short memories - that's the problem. They don't remember how measles was considered an illness to get, and to get over, and barely to to bother the doctor with!

LaVolcan Fri 21-Jun-13 00:12:09

In your mother's and previous generations a healthy recommended diet was quite different than now.

I'm not sure when this mother was around, but if it was in the early years of the NHS then they used to dish out Welfare Orange Juice, Cod liver oil and something else which I can't now bring to mind. Later on this was replaced by haliborange pills with vits A, C & D in them. So someone getting measles in the late 40s and 50s might well have been getting a supplement of vitamin A.

I can't see why they don't give dietary advice. Some people seem convinced that a good diet makes no difference: but at the worst a good diet won't harm anyone, but may well improve their general health.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 00:37:45

Agreed LaVolcan but I think likewise a multivit recommendation would be very helpful in a measles outbreak. It's possible that Vit A was in supplemennts in the 50s: it was first synthesised in the late 40s. But never mind supplements - the old spoonful of cod liver oil would have done the trick - absolutely right.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 00:51:30

it would have no impact on the level of complications in the developed world

have you got a link for this Curlew? And as for the false sense of security - I think vaccines can also do that, don't you?

exoticfruits Fri 21-Jun-13 07:27:01

If you want to believe that tosh you can, Crumbledwalnuts, my mother is elderly and my grandmother did not stuff her with 'dumplings, bread and dripping etc'! She was very fit and healthy- brought up on a farm with access to a very good diet. My FIL reached 100yrs on his diet. He also grew up in a rural area with a healthy diet. There was no difference from today- some people had lousy diets, some people had brilliant ones and there was everything in between. Measles attacked them all- those with a good supply of vit A obviously had an advantage- but not enough to protect them or make them immune from complications.
I don't think that people realise that those diseases caused real fear. Schools closed in epidemics- after a few weeks they reopened, having been disinfected, and when the children returned some were dead. (Information I found in school log books)
I got measles badly and I am the age where you got your cod liver oil and I remember my mother always stuffing supplements down us- haliborange was the best- some brown stuff with malt was the worst.
You just have to hope that these people who tell us that you don't need to get your child vaccinated don't have a child who gets the disease- and that they don't have a child who is a fussy eater or eats lots of processed food or who has a much worse diet than my mother who was born in 1920s. Or mothers who think that just because you are elderly you were brought up on stodge!

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 08:22:53

Does anyone have any information about why the vitamin A supplement isn't suggested in the developed world?

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 09:22:51

Did you have a link, curlew? Was it just a guess maybe?
Exotic: Measles attacked them all- those with a good supply of vit A obviously had an advantage- but not enough to protect them or make them immune from complications. It wouldn't protect them from illness, it would help to protect from the complications (the coffins, the severer long term disabilities), so the last half of your sentence isn't true. Not all of them, no. But if we are being terrified with coffins, would it be irresponsible not to recommend something that would reduce the number of coffins? Yes, it would, highly irresponsible. And you probably wouldn't get Vit A in a supplement, it would have been in the cod liver oil as LaVolcan notes. You just have to hope that these people who tell us that you don't need to get your child vaccinated don't have a child who gets the disease- I haven't told anyone they don't need to get a child vaccinated - are you referring to me? I do hope not. It's not for me to tell people about their own children, not knowing anything about them, or their medical history, or family history. It doesn't seem to inhibit some posters though. And I'm not afraid of disease. I wouldn't welcome it: but it doesn't terrify me, and I won't be terrified by propaganda.

By the way, a good recommended diet a hundred years ago WAS very stodgy.

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 09:31:53

I'm asking for a link! All the information I have read so far says that vitamin A supplements are only helpful if a child is vitamin A deficient, and that you have to be severely malnourished before you become Vitamin A deficient. But that sentence in the WHO document seems to suggest that measles depletes Vitamin A, so I was wondering if there was any published papers explaining why Vitamin A is not automatically recommended for children with measles everywhere.

<what I am doing here is being open to changing my views if there is sufficient evidence for me to do so. That is what science does. Looks at the evidence and decides on the basis of the evidence.>

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 09:34:11

Oh I see, excuse me, your post read like a fact and I found it misleading. There won't be any published papers explaining why Vit A is not automatically recommended. I have no link for that "fact" but I am certain of it.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 09:59:27

There are thousands of studies on measles and Vitamin A, I'm sorry I can't trawl through them, I just read one thinking it was about children in Australia and found it was about children in Tanzania. Perhaps someone who wants to disprove the point will look harder smile I suppose I could look for references quoted by Who. Sigh.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 10:02:32

Look what I found on my netsurfing (can you tell I've got a day off)

Dr David Miller, Deputy Director of the Epidemiological Research Laboratory in Colindale, Middlesex, stated in 1964

“In this country at least, measles is now usually regarded as a minor childhood illness through which we all must pass rather than as a public health problem.”4

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 10:05:47

Measles virus grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and lungs. Vitamin A is essential for the maintenance of this lining and others throughout the body. Vitamin A deficiency is a recognised risk factor for severe measles and since 1987 the WHO and UNICEF have recommended vitamin A treatment of children with measles; two doses of 200 000 IU for children over one year and 100 000 IU for infants, was found to reduce measles mortality by 62% (*14*) in poorer countries. Measles can also lower serum concentrations of vitamin A in well nourished children to less than those observed in non-infected malnourished children. When a child with marginal vitamin A stores gets measles, available vitamin A is quickly used up … reducing the ability to resist secondary infections or their consequences, or both. (*15*)

These are the references

14 Sudfeld CR, Navar AM, Halsey NA.Effectiveness of measles vaccination and vitamin A treatment.
Int J Epidemiol. 2010 Apr;39 Suppl 1:i48-55. Review.
15 Barclay AJ, Foster A, Sommer A. Vitamin A supplements and mortality related to measles: a randomised clinical trial. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1987 Jan 31;294(6567):294-6.

LaVolcan Fri 21-Jun-13 10:18:04

When a child with marginal vitamin A stores gets measles, available vitamin A is quickly used up … reducing the ability to resist secondary infections or their consequences, or both. (*15*)

Gosh, Crumbled - that's almost saying that a well-nourished child will shake off measles more easily!

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 10:18:36

It is obvious that vitamin A is vital for malnourished children generally. It has a particular impact on eye health- measles or no measles and is estimated to reduce measles deaths by 50% in the developing world. What I can't find is research about the impact of vitamin A supplements on children with measles in the developed world.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 10:20:36

grin By George - I think we've got it!

“In this country at least, measles is now usually regarded as a minor childhood illness through which we all must pass rather than as a public health problem.”4

ps this was four years before a vaccination was introduced

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 10:28:10

So do vitamin A supplements help children in the developed world not to get measles complications or not? We know that is does in mal nourished children....

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 10:29:52

The key word is "usually".

Obviously most children "shake off" measles. Unfortunately some don't. And you can't tell which sort of child you have until too late.

LaVolcan Fri 21-Jun-13 10:37:41

But why isn't there a two pronged approach? Have the vaccine, but if you do get measles, (which can happen with the vaccine), then up your vitamin A intake.

I don't recall any such advise being given in South Wales recently.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 10:40:34

Curlew: ok it's nice that you are withdrawing the assertion that
it would have no impact on the level of complications in the developed world
That's great.

Things we do know.
Millions of people are malnourished in the UK.
Deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to severe measles complications.
Measles depletes Vitamin A in well-nourished children.
A well-nourished child can suffer Vitamin A depletion during measles infection.
Depletion means using up the Vitamin A leading to a possible deficiency.
There are well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK.
Well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK can get measles.
Well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK can suffer Vitamin A depletion during measles infection.

Now let's go back to:
Deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to severe measles complications.

A normal (and logical) inference from all these statements would be:
Well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK are at risk of severe complications from measles caused by Vitamin A depletion and deficiency.

And a normal response to that inference would be:
It would be helpful to recommend a multivitamin during measles outbreaks.

Perhaps somebody has taken that inference and used it as a hypothesis in a study. Until then, I see no problem with making that inference. And I think the response to that clear inference would be the responsible approach by any health authority concerned about severe complications.

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 11:26:30

"Curlew: ok it's nice that you are withdrawing the assertion that
it would have no impact on the level of complications in the developed world"

I'm not withdrawing it. That is what everything I have read so far suggests. However, there is a query. I am asking if anyone knows the answer to that query. If the answer, supported by evidence suggests that my "assertion" is wrong, then I will withdraw it. As I said earlier, that is how science works.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 14:49:38

Well we can just reduce it to your own firm belief and opinion then. Let's take those inverted commas away from the word assertion.

It's not what everything you've read so far suggests, not if you've read the quote from the WHO and the link from Tabitha. Is there something you don't understand about them? I explained it pretty clearly I thought, supported by evidence Oh well.

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 14:55:33

So what is the reason for vitamin A not being prescribed for children in the developed world? There must be a stated reason- even if it's a crap reason. What is it? Why in the developing world but not the developed? The case for vitamin a being of benefit for children in the developing world is made.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 14:57:58

I don't know Curlew? What do you think? Could it be that the people who put coffins on leaflets think it might undermine their message if they say "actually you could pop down to Boots for a multivit and it would probably help". I wonder.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 15:04:38

I mean, what's the reason for the massive scare-mongering surrounding Swansea anyway? I can't imagine that every health correspondent and newspaper decided all at once, in a lightbulb moment, that after weeks and months of minor skirmishes with measles in various bits of the UK, this was The Big One. They were briefed (yes, that is the way it works). We had people saying that it was going to affect 2-3 million children, that private schools would be like dry brush in front of a wildfire, we had people even blaming parents who told newspapers about their child's reaction to MMR many years ago. We had mystery, confusion, and then when clear figures came out about lab confirmations of cases, were we reassured? You know we weren't Curlew.

LaVolcan Fri 21-Jun-13 15:48:10

This was weird. There were other outbreaks elsewhere but they didn't make the news.

CatherinaJTV Fri 21-Jun-13 15:50:50

the vitamin A is such an attempt at side tracking. Vitamin A helps kids in developing countries, in cutting the measles death risk from 8% to 2% (that is still 1 in 50). First of all, kids in the UK have a much lower risk of being vitamin A deficient and second of all, they have access to the MMR, which significantly reduces their risk of ever catching measles in the first place. Bemoaning the lack of vit A info in the media is like complaining that there is so little info on how to heal a broken bone, while media are "briefed" to report only on gritting during the Winter snow and ice. angry

CatherinaJTV Fri 21-Jun-13 15:52:14

LaVolcan - I have had two letters from NHS Lothian to bring my son in for his MMRs due to fewer than 40 measles cases in a 100 mile radius.

CatherinaJTV Fri 21-Jun-13 15:53:40

there has been a lot of general reporting about measles in the past months

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 15:56:32

Caterian, I completely disagree. It's not side-tracking when it's a known treatment to prevent severe complications of measles. Now why, if they are concerned about severe complications in a measles outbreak (as they say they are) are pro-vaccinators keen to downplay its benefits? Your analogy is inappropriate. It's irresponsible not to recommend a Vitamin A or multi-vit supplement. You do know that even obese or well fed people can suffer vitamin deficiencies don't you?

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 15:58:31

"Deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to severe measles complications.
Measles depletes Vitamin A in well-nourished children.
A well-nourished child can suffer Vitamin A depletion during measles infection.
Depletion means using up the Vitamin A leading to a possible deficiency.
There are well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK.
Well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK can get measles.
Well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK can suffer Vitamin A depletion during measles infection."

Which of these statements would you disagree with Caterina?

CatherineofMumbles Fri 21-Jun-13 16:00:54

In the recent outbreak in Swansea, we had endless scaremongering and then eventually, we had ONE death that could tenuously be linked to measles. But where were the headlines saying, oh, good, measles outbreak, and everyone recovered? Nowhere, because that does not tie in with the MMR dogma. When I had measles (as a not very well-nourished) child, like all my friends, I recovered without any fuss. Yes, measles is a problem in countries where children are mal-nourished, but they are vulnerable for that reason. Here, it is just hysteria.

CatherineofMumbles Fri 21-Jun-13 16:05:40

Sorry, forgot to add - the Vit A thing has been known for ages - I discussed this with DH 16 years ago when first DC born. But the medical establishment does not publicise it to parents because assumes we are are all feckless and not capable of making informed choices on behalf or our DC.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 16:12:40

Interestingly, Vit D also seems to play a role in fighting off secondary complications of measles, and there's a known Vit D deficiency here. It's talked about a lot.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Jun-13 16:13:32

> What I can't find is research about the impact of vitamin A supplements on children with measles in the developed world.

My guess is that we don't have evidence supporting the use of vitamin A in developed countries because we simply don't have enough measles cases on a regular basis to do a proper trial - in a sense therefore, hopefully we never will. I've been searching using Google scholar rather than plain google, and all the trials I've found are in the third world.

My question would be, is there any downside at all to short-term vitamin A supplementation? If not then TBH I'd have thought it was worth trying. I suppose the NHS has to be careful about trying to adhere to evidence-based advice, but seems like something the bloody media might float.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 16:17:33

There are downsides to overdosing, and they are easily findable Grimma. I just read a whole page smile

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 16:23:17

It would be interesting to do a study of Vit A deficicency, that would certainly be possible Grimma.

LaVolcan Fri 21-Jun-13 16:25:11

Catherina -OK so getting on for months ago there was something tucked away on the BBC but hardly on the scale we saw about Swansea. To be fair, a google search on 'measles outbreak in Lothian' for its second hit brought up a report from the NorthEdinburgh news from five days ago about this, but that is not national coverage. The first hit is information about Lothian from 2008/9.

Bemoaning the lack of vit A info in the media is like complaining that there is so little info on how to heal a broken bone, while media are "briefed" to report only on gritting during the Winter snow and ice.

I don't agree. There is no reason why you can't have both. Bemoan that the Local Authority hasn't been out gritting and hence people are falling and breaking bones, fine. But you don't then say but if you do break a bone, well tough, ignore it, if the authorities had gritted you wouldn't have done. You tell them to go to A&E and get it strapped up.

So if you want to try to avoid measles, go for the vaccine. If you do get it, Vitamin A has been shown to be beneficial in helping to prevent secondary infections. But we aren't getting this second strand. We are stopping at 'the authorities ought to be out gritting' level. Or in this case - parents ought to see that their children have the MMR. (If they still get measles, silence, or 'measles like', because by definition vaccines always work.)

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Jun-13 16:25:12

>There are downsides to overdosing

ok, so that is a reason for caution in recommending vitamin A as a treatment to children who aren't deficient...

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 16:27:47

CatherineM: I'm not sure we are assumed to be feckless, but I think there's a certain loss of control feared. I like to assume good intentions at public health authority level but highly misguided, and misled by experts who very often have links with profitable organisations. I should think there's a fear that if people think we can nip out for a Boots multi vit (price 5p a unit) we might listen to them less about vaccination. And yes agree with your last bit - a belief that some/many people are unable to make informed choices about their children's health.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 16:30:27

Grimma: you are not going to overdose on a daily multivitamin during a measles outbreak. I do think that's a rather scare-mongering suggestion. And after all they could always put coffins on a leaflet explaining the dangers of an overdose smile
Don't forget they do recommend a course of action with NO benefit (to at least 90 pc of children) and risk of extreme damage - that is a second (or third) dose of MMR.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Jun-13 16:47:34

>Grimma: you are not going to overdose on a daily multivitamin during a measles outbreak. I do think that's a rather scare-mongering suggestion
I didn't suggest that a daily multivitamin would cause an overdose hmm. Is a daily multivitamin an effective dose to treat measles though?

CatherinaJTV Fri 21-Jun-13 16:47:35

LaVolcan - we also did not see measles reports on the same scale as Swansea anywhere else AND the whole country is now doing an MMR catch up campaign.

It is undesirable to catch measles. It is FAR more dangerous to catch measles than to get the MMR. I don't give a toss whether people supplement vitamin A or not (although it is possible to overdose), but I do think it is unwise to leave one's child unprotected against measles.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 16:56:07

Grimma: much higher doses are sometimes used in hospitals as a treatment for severe measles. But in a regular person a daily dose of Vit A would help to maintain levels against depletion during measles. Isn't that obvious? Am I missing something?

It is FAR more dangerous to catch measles than to get the MMR.

Well that's something we don't know. Every time someone says their child was damaged they are dismissed as hysterical/irrational/conspiracy theorist/over-involved/too stupid to know their own child - and so the damage or potential damage isn't counted.

If you're concerned about severe complications you should give a toss about Vitamin A supplementation, otherwise people might think some pro-vaccinators don't give a toss about severe measles complications. And that would never do.

JoTheHot Fri 21-Jun-13 17:02:11

How does 'knowing your own child' allow you to determine an illness following MMR was caused by the MMR?

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 17:03:16

Hello Josmile I think your question is a pointless distractionsmile

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Jun-13 17:06:45

>But in a regular person a daily dose of Vit A would help to maintain levels against depletion during measles. Am I missing something?
I would be inclined to agree it probably would do no harm and might do some good.

The NHS leaflet I linked to does say 'Vitamin A supplements have been shown in some studies to help prevent some of the serious complications arising from a measles infection' and 'You may wish to ask your GP about whether your child would benefit from taking vitamin A supplements.' - so they do point parents in the direction of it. I don't know why they don't make a general recommendation to supplement - given that would be easy (and cheaper for the NHS) than asking GP maybe there is some reason or maybe its just that the evidence isn't firm enough.

CatherinaJTV Fri 21-Jun-13 17:08:22

because vitamins, especially vitamin A can be overdosed, so you need to be careful with any public health recommendation regarding vitamin A supplementation.

JoTheHot Fri 21-Jun-13 17:10:28

I think your lack of answer reveals more than you intended.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 17:12:28

II agree with most of your post Grimma. Though I would say that the NHS information is dismissive of Vit A. "It is not clear how they help", it says. Given that Vit A sometimes used in hospitals for this, given that there are thousands of studies on this, given that it's recommended by the WHO, it's dismissed by the NHS as a sort of possibly untested meh maverick woo thing.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Jun-13 17:12:40

Yeah, that's what I was trying to suggest earlier ... thing is, once there is vague information on the internet, perhaps the NHS does need to come up with some guidelines on dosage (during an outbreak at low dose, higher after infection?) because there may be some risk now that while many parents do nothing, and some give RDA, some may go overboard.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Jun-13 17:13:41

(last post in response to Catherine)

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Jun-13 17:16:15

>"It is not clear how they help", it says
Is that inaccurate? Seems fair enough - that there's studies showing it helps but that we don't (yet) know the mechanism. I don't read that as being dismissive.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 17:16:37

Jo - start another thread and I'll answer you. Caterina introduced the claim - not me. I'm more interested in nutrition and measles - I'm not going to be distracted. No problem with giving you an answer, in fact I could probably bore you half to death - just not here. smile

because vitamins, especially vitamin A can be overdosed, so you need to be careful with any public health recommendation regarding vitamin A supplementation.

Scare-mongering again and dealt with earlier. 1. A daily dose of Vit A in a multi-vit in a measles outbreak is not going to cause an overdose. 2. A course of action is recommended by the authorities of NO benefit and ALL risk to 90 pc of children (2nd MMR) 3. People could be cautioned about an overdose (possibly with coffins on leaflets smile )

CatherineofMumbles Fri 21-Jun-13 17:19:44

All the fat-soluble vitamins can be overdosed. That is why EDUCATION is needed, not denial.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 17:19:48

I think it is inaccurate, yes.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 17:21:53

That is why EDUCATION is needed, not denial.

I have no idea what this means.

EDUCATION about Vit A and measles would be terrific but we haven't seen a lot of it - that's what I'm saying. I suppose we agree on that but I can't say for sure - your last post is rather a mystery to me.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 17:23:28

Maybe you could start by explaining why a daily dose of Vit A in a multivitamin would be dangerous during a measles outbreak? I'm right here though, I wouldn't worry about the shouting.

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 18:12:16

I am assuming- but I don't know, obviously - that the vitamin A dosage necessary to treat vitamin deficient children in much higher than that in a normal multi vitamin. And vitamin A is one that the body retains- it isn't peed away like water soluble ones. And now Big Pharma is in the mega vitamin business who knows what might happen ....

LaVolcan Fri 21-Jun-13 18:15:54

we also did not see measles reports on the same scale as Swansea anywhere else AND the whole country is now doing an MMR catch up campaign.

But that was all I was asking about. Why not?

Well, in Swansea a young man died, who had been in hospital, hadn't been treated for measles whilst he was there, whose death was subsequently not found to be caused by measles, and was probably vaccinated against it, but had caught it; that seems to be the reason. But we haven't had a campaign addressed to young adults who were vaccinated in the 70s and 80s telling them that their measles immunity might have worn off.

JoTheHot Fri 21-Jun-13 18:35:53

Their measels immunity might have worn off, but it very likely hasn't. You can't run campaigns for everything.

LaVolcan Fri 21-Jun-13 18:56:58

I don't know whether we can say whether someone's immunity has or hasn't worn off just by looking at a vaccination record. No one ever checks. On the face of it, it appeared to have worn off with the young man in Swansea. But telling people that immunity doesn't last, wasn't part of the agenda.

I went to the surgery for travel injections. Based on my records they decided that since I had had the full course of polio immunisations, I was immune. But there was no objective test. It might have mattered - I was going to India where they still have polio.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 19:04:23

"Their measels immunity might have worn off, but it very likely hasn't."

In the case of 30-year-olds (and everyone over 30 including parents) that's not true.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 19:08:35

Curlew: they do use high dose vitamin A supplements to treat severe complications sometimes. In terms of maintaining levels as a preventative measure - ie treating a deficiency rather than severe complications - then a Vit A supplement should manage it, otherwise they should change the RDA. If measles is around, advice would be useful on whether you could, say, double a daily multi-vit dose, but I assume (on the evidence that over the counter packs don't carry coffin-type warnings) that two a day for a few weeks won't kill you. RDAs are usually pretty minimal. Why is everyone worried about Big Pharma over vits but not pharmaceutical drugs? Don't get it.

JoTheHot Fri 21-Jun-13 19:33:26

'that's not true.'
Do you have a reference?

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 20:01:06

From the NHS.

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.

I thought everyone knew this. So to say as a fact that their measles immunity hasn't worn off is a bit misleading. It would be better to say, I think this, or I assume this. I don't think there's anything wrong with encouraging people to share your assumptions, but to state it as a fact isn't true.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 20:02:40

Also the 23 years against rubella is a bit hmm I found something (which I'm not going to link now) suggesting something quite different but that's not for here. Jo if you want to start another thread about the effectiveness of MMR please do so. I don't think this thread is about that (despite the best efforts of a few pro-vaccinators!)

LaVolcan Fri 21-Jun-13 20:04:55

How can they possibly call that lifelong? Lasts throughout childhood would be accurate. 19 years for one of the components? I think they could get away with it if the immunity lasted for 70 years but not until you are about 20!

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 20:14:00

Well obviously taking a multi vitamin isn't 't going to do you any harm. What I want to know is whether it will do you any good. Which nobody seems able to tell me.

And of course people are worried about pharmaceutical drugs. What makes you think they aren't?

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 21:23:40

Curlew: did you miss my post from earlier.

Things we do know.

Deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to severe measles complications.
Measles depletes Vitamin A in well-nourished children.
A well-nourished child can suffer Vitamin A depletion during measles infection.
Depletion means using up the Vitamin A leading to a possible deficiency.
There are well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK.
Well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK can get measles.
Well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK can suffer Vitamin A depletion during measles infection.

A normal (and logical) inference from all these statements would be:
Well-nourished and malnourished children in the UK are at risk of severe complications from measles caused by Vitamin A depletion and deficiency.

There is a strong and clear inference that it would be beneficial. Given the low risk, compared with the ALL risk NO benefit for 90 pc of children of the MMR X2 which is recommended, don't you think it would be irresponsible not to act on that strong and clear inference of benefit? I do.

So, you aren't going to get a study but you do have a strong and clear inference, which you can argue against if you like.

By the way, earlier you implied no one ever said measles complications weren't rare. Yes, people do say that, the second post on this thread says that, and I've seen it before too.

"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." From Aunt Stella. Fine, you disagree with her, but it's not true that no one says it.

curlew Fri 21-Jun-13 22:14:36

1.So what dosage do you need? 2.Given that vitamin A deficiency is very rare in well nourished children, does measles deplete the stocks of vitamin A in a well nourished child enough to make them more likely to suffer complications? 3.If so is there enough vitamin A in a multi vitamin pill to make any difference?

JoTheHot Sat 22-Jun-13 06:42:50

Why is it, crumb, that your unsubstantiated and untrue comments about MMR are relevant to the thread, but when I ask you to put up or shut up this is derailing the thread?

Thanks for the ref supporting my assertion that 30 - 40 year olds are likely to still have immunity to measels. What I was actually asking for was a reference to support your assertion that this was untrue. Do you not have one?

exoticfruits Sat 22-Jun-13 07:24:30

I think that if you are eating a varied, healthy and balanced diet you shouldn't need supplements.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 07:35:53

your unsubstantiated and untrue comments about MMR

Eh what? Caterina made an assertion, she introduced the MMR, I responded. She hasn't come back to me. You seem to be lashing out a little Jo. Re your: lasting immunity - it's 30, not 40, and that's just an assumption (or pls link the studies of MMR from the last five yrs showing continued immunity in 95 pc of the population.) Maybe you could start another thread about that? (shrug)

Jo, don't you think it's irresponsible for the health authorities not to recommend Vitamin A when there are measles outbreaks?

Exotic: a lot of people might think they're getting a healthy and well balanced diet when they aren't.

curlew Sat 22-Jun-13 07:41:21

Crumbled- while you're here, could you address my 22.14 post?

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 07:44:24

Curlew: excuse me. Those are good questions. We should know the answer, shouldn't we? This is exactly the sort of thing the health authorities should be talking about when there are outbreaks. The NGOs give mega doses in the developing world - 200,000 iu from what I gather, because it's a one off - you only get one go at getting it into the child and you may not see them again. RDA here about 1500 iu?

Just found something which suggests that in France, every child is assessed for Vit A deficiency if they have measles.

We conclude that all adults who have measles should be assessed for vitamin A and retinol-binding protein levels and should be considered for vitamin A supplementation, as are children (8).
Clea Melenotte, Philippe Brouqui, and Elisabeth Botelho-Nevers
Author affiliations: Aix Marseille Université, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France
That's from a study about measles in Roma people but is a general conclusion referring to the population as a whole.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 07:45:34

We xposted curlew: I came here to respond to your late night post and got distracted (curses I fell in the trap!)

curlew Sat 22-Jun-13 07:49:35

Right. So we're talking about giving assessing the vitamin A status of people who actually have measles. And potentially then giving them very large doses. Doses which, I would imagine, would need to be medically supervised, what with Vitamin A being one of the vitamins where overdosing is a real possibility.

Your point about giving kids a multi vitamin tablet is a red herring, then.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 07:51:44

No, that was just something I found as I was looking around. I think people should be advised to have daily Vitamin A supplementation during measles outbreaks to maintain their stores.

Are you ok? This feels a bit argumentative.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 07:52:21

I thought you were genuinely interested. What a shame.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 07:59:32

I just popped the France thing in there as it came up when I was drifting around.

So the toxicity level (at its very lowest) is about 20,000 iu. Most multivits won't be a problem. The RDA is a little higher than I said by the way, ranging from about 1500 to 3000.

curlew Sat 22-Jun-13 08:03:47

What makes you think I'm not genuinely interested?

I just want to understand. If taking a daily multivitamin would have any impact on the severity of the disease if a child were to catch measles, then it is outrageous that the medical establishment doesn't recommend it. And people need to be shouting about it. But I can't find any evidence that it does. I though, as you are suggesting it's a good idea that you might have? The only evidence seems to be for mega doses for people who are seriously deficient. And vitamin A deficiency is very rare in the developed world. Unlike some other vitamins, where deficiency is a real possibility.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 08:14:56

A slight argumentative tone made me think that.

But I can't find any evidence that it does. But we had that conversation about studies not being carried out. I'm fed up of the idea that when studies aren't carried out, people can then say - Oh there's no evidence - and dismiss the idea. There is very clear evidence that measles can deplete A in well-nourished children, there is very clear evidence that measles supplementation can dramatically reduce morbidity and mortality, there is very clear evidence that children who do suffer complications often have a deficiency, previously unrecognised, and there is clear evidence that children without a deficiency can acquire one through measles infection. There is also, though I haven't linked it, evidence that Vitamin D is also implicated with A to increase vulnerability to complications. The role of Vitamin A in measles is key. The potential for benefit is significant and the risk tiny (*especially when you compare it to a no-benefit-all-risk treatment for 90 pc of recipients - 2 MMR). It's hugely irresponsible to ignore the role of Vitamin A and recommend a daily supplement during an outbreak.

curlew Sat 22-Jun-13 08:20:26

"there is very clear evidence that children who do suffer complications often have a deficiency, previously unrecognised,"

Aha- a key point, this one. Do you mean in the developed world? Am I wrong in my belief that vitamin A deficiency is incredibly rare in the developed world?

curlew Sat 22-Jun-13 08:22:34

And I don't see the connection with the second MMR- unless you're saying, which I don't think you are, are you?- that vitamin A supplementation could make vaccination unnecessary?

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 08:31:54

Yes I've read that it's rare but on the other hand a risk as follows:

>toddlers and preschool age children living at or below the poverty level
>children with inadequate health care or immunisations
>children living in areas with known nutritional deficiencies
>recent migrants or refugees from developing countries that have a high incidence of vitamin A deficiency and/or infectious disease
(from Public Health England)

..which is quite a large group. It also notes that a deficiency may be subclinical. Does this address your question?

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 08:33:47

Re: your point about 2nd MMR. No, I'm contrasting the failure to even mention Vitamin A, and its potential low risk benefit, with the pushing of a treatment which does not benefit 90 (or 95?) pc of recipients - ie its a no benefit-all risk strategy for those patients.

Not read the whole thread, but you can get Vitamin A at higher doses than in a standard multivit, see here. Obviously check with your medical practitioner first as children can reach toxic levels at around 1500 IU per kg of body weight (ref).

It might also be worth taking higher doses of Vitamin D alongside higher doses of vitamin A as there is an antagonistic interaction between the two (ref).

Interestingly while Vitamin A deficiency is very rare in the developed world, Vitamin D deficiency is not. Many people are Vitamin D deficient without realising it, this article mentions that up to 50% of the white population of Britain may be deficient in Vitamin D, up to 25% of all children and up to 90% of the multi-ethnic population. High levels of Vitamin A with low levels of Vitamin D can affect bone mineralisation due to the antagonistic interaction between the two vitamins.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 08:37:33

unless you're saying, which I don't think you are, are you?- that vitamin A supplementation could make vaccination unnecessary?

Yes, I'm NOT saying that. Though strictly speaking the 2nd MMR is unnecessary for 90-95 pc of children but everyone knows that.

curlew Sat 22-Jun-13 08:37:56

"*"there is very clear evidence that children who do suffer complications often have a deficiency, previously unrecognised,"*

Aha- a key point, this one. Is this easy to get at clear evidence?

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 08:38:56

Thanks for the links Stitch.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 08:40:57

Aha - your question is - are children with only a mild deficiency more vulnerable? (assume you picked up the subclinical/previously unrecognised reference)

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 08:43:01

I must go. See you later, have a nice day.

curlew Sat 22-Jun-13 08:46:23

Shame you couldn't answer my question before you went. Never mind, I'm sure you will when you come back.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 22-Jun-13 10:13:33

Yes it is a shame isn't it? Still, now I've got the children sorted I can go for my lovely massage and manicure before I nip to the shops for a 21st birthday present this afternoon. So it's not all bad. And of course I'll be back curlew - I can imagine you drumming your fingers at your desk! See you later. smile

JoTheHot Sat 22-Jun-13 12:01:26

I think people should be encouraged to eat the rda for vitamin A during measles outbreaks, and at all other times, as part of a balanced diet. A healthy diet is just that, a diet which helps keeps you healthy. There's already quite a lot of publicity for this, perhaps you've missed it thanks to your monomania on vitamin A and measles.

I also think that if you can't or won't substantiate your MMR slurs, you should keep them to yourself.

merrymouse Sat 22-Jun-13 12:46:46

1.So what dosage do you need? 2.Given that vitamin A deficiency is very rare in well nourished children, does measles deplete the stocks of vitamin A in a well nourished child enough to make them more likely to suffer complications? 3.If so is there enough vitamin A in a multi vitamin pill to make any difference?

And I'd add 4. Given that most people buy multivitamins, take them for a week and then leave them in their cupboard till they go out of date, is advising vitamin supplements an effective way of combating an outbreak?

Assuming that you have done all the tests, proved that maintaining vitamin A-levels is an effective way of combatting measles, and worked out a way of ensuring that nobody receives an overdose, you still have to get the supplements into the people.

I'd also imagine that much as there are MMR sceptics, there are many people who would be very unhappy about being told to take a daily pill by the government.

yamsareyammy Sat 22-Jun-13 13:25:29

So to summarise
The general population should have their children immunised.
And if they were to get measles, give them extra vit a during that time.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 23-Jun-13 00:02:15
Crumbledwalnuts Sun 23-Jun-13 00:16:52

This is about Vit A deficiency in a developed country (US)

It's hard to find studies on Vit A in developed countries - one study above says interest in Vit A as an "anti-infective" vitamin waned when other drugs became manufacturable.

There's masses out there on Vit A and the immune system, and I'd like to thank you Curlew for pushing me to find this material along with so much more - it's confirmed my view. These are the only three I can find in 15 minutes which seem relevant to the sorts of questions you've been asking.

There's another one on subclinical presentation of VAD which can still cause problems. I'll link as soon as I can. In the meantime I'd like to ask Jo some questions.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 23-Jun-13 00:27:51

They are in regard to your comments about a RDA and a balanced diet.

Do you think everyone consumes the RDA of vitamins?

Do you think that none of the serious complications and hospitalisations which we were warned about during the Swansea outbreak were caused or exacerbated by depletion or deficiency of Vitamin A?

If the answer is none, can you tell me why or can you link to a study explaining why none of these complications or hospitalisations were linked to Vit A depletion or deficiency?

Do you believe that measles causes Vitamin A to be depleted in well-nourished or apparently well nourished children and adults?

Do you believe that no one in the UK belongs to the list I quoted above of groups which could be at risk of Vitamin A deficiency?

I would like to ask this question of Merrymouse.

Do you think that the difficulty of encouraging people to take a vitamin supplement is insurmountable? If yes, can you explain why?

Do you think the option of offering vitamin supplementation to people queuing for vaccination is untenable? If so, why?

Do you think that publicity relating to one intervention (MMR) will be successful while the same type of publicity relating to another intervention (Vit a supplementation) will be a failure? If so, can you explain why?

Thanks. smile

Jo: also think that if you can't or won't substantiate your MMR slurs, you should keep them to yourself.

1. I said I would answer any questions you like on this - on another thread. You chose not to start one.
2. If you want to silence people who disagree with you, be brave, come right out and say "I want to silence people who disagree with me" - just so we're all clear.

Out for the day tomorrow. I understand people are busy when it comes to all those questions - it took me a long time today to get back on. But am interested in the replies.

Happy Sunday smile

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 23-Jun-13 00:29:44
Crumbledwalnuts Sun 23-Jun-13 08:23:02

Just looked this morning and it doesn't look like much, does it? However we've got to put it together with what we know. The beneficial effects of VA supplementation on measles in developing countries are well known, unquestionable. The role of measles in depleting VA is well known, unquestionable. The existence of groups (such as mentioned above) vulnerable to VAD is unquestionable. The fear of severe complications is unquestionable (and so strong it leads to an enormous push for a zero-benefit-all-risk intervention for 90-95 pc of children (2nd/3rd/extra MMR)). The possibiity of overdosing is low and can be warned against. One can get along quite nicely with VAD without really noticing - but it can still affect the eyes and respiratory organs (the big measles worries).

I think that's a pretty good case. What's wrong with it? How can it be such a bad case that it's worse than an intervention that has zero benefit for 90-95 per cent of children?

merrymouse Sun 23-Jun-13 09:45:58

1) you would need to show that vitamin supplements were so effective that they made vaccination unnecessary.

2) people find it difficult to take pills on a daily basis, whether that is for contraception, long term illness, vitamins or finishing a course of antibiotics.

coorong Sun 23-Jun-13 10:10:00

From Wikipedia - summarised - nearly 45000 children under the age of 6 had vitamin overdoses - including 3 deaths. vitamin poisoning - if you want to see really bad vit A poisoning, read about Scott's expedition to the Antarctic

But to summarise Bubbleyummy, crumbled walnuts and others your take home message is:
- don't vaccinate with MMR
- treat measles with vitamin A
if I'm wrong, please correct me

My opinion - you're jeapodising children's health to push an anti vaccine agenda

JoTheHot Sun 23-Jun-13 10:29:31

crum, you seem to have mistaken me for a specialist on vitamin A and measles. If you've got detailed questions, why don't you buy a book, or speak to a researcher in the field? I still don't understand why you think vitamin A is only an issue with respect to measles.

Why do you think I'm trying to silence you? you seem to be lashing out.

bumbleymummy Sun 23-Jun-13 10:44:00

Yes, coorong, you're wrong. Where have I said 'don't vaccinate'? I'm not pushing any anti-vaccine message and, as far as I can see, walnuts is just talking about how Vitamin A could be beneficial even in developed countries.

How is that jeopardising children's health?

CatherinaJTV Sun 23-Jun-13 11:04:53

the "second MMR is useless" message is endangering lives. If you look at outbreaks, only a ever so tiny number of people have had their 2xMMRs, most are unvaccinated, some have had 1xMMR. We are not going to stop measles outbreaks unless most folk have had 2xMMR. We are not going to stop them with vitamin A either and measles doesn't suddenly become "benign" when a child gets a mega dose.

bumbleymummy Sun 23-Jun-13 11:08:53

I think she was making the point that it is useless for 90/95% of the population because they're already immune from the first one so the second one is unnecessary for them.

Funny how things can be twisted when people are trying to find an 'anti-vax' stance.