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in thinking Measles can't be more dangerous now than it was 15 years ago ?

(480 Posts)
Onajourney Wed 02-Jun-10 09:04:03


Wondering if there are any GP's out there that can tell me this ?

My eldest child is 15 and I still have his baby books and they say Measles is a mild disease and just to keep their temperature down etc, they liken it to chickenpox. I remember not being worried about it at all when he and his 11 year old brother were small.

Fast forward 14 years and we have a 1 year old who is at "huge risk from this killer disease" according our GP, but I can't understand how it can have changed so much.

Can anyone tell me, is Measles worse now than it was 15 years ago and if so why ?


addictedisalmosthalfway Wed 02-Jun-10 09:06:49

the same way chicken pox is worse now, for some people, than it was 15 years ago. illnesses mutate.

but i'd also like to add that 30 years ago when my uncle had measles it was very serious, he was in hospital for months and almost died. so i also think it has a little to do with the attention an illness gets.

izzybiz Wed 02-Jun-10 09:09:59

My brother had measles as a child and it was very bad, he was nearly blinded by it and spent months going back and forth to the eye hospital.

With all the MMR scare less people have had thier Dc's vaccinated therefore numbers of cases rise as do children suffering from complications of this disease.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 02-Jun-10 09:10:24

Not a GP but from my understanding it can cause serious complications in some cases. It's also pretty dangerous to unborn babies afaik hence the blanket immunisation policy

silverfrog Wed 02-Jun-10 09:10:30

You do know the thread is likely to go horribly wrong, don't you?

There will soon be lots of people here wrangling over low vaccination uptake etc.

FWIW, i agree with you. Measles has been totally re-designated and re-branded. Just like chicken pox in the USA (and prob here too soon)

Onajourney Wed 02-Jun-10 09:13:02

Thanks everyone, I'm just trying to understand how/if it has got worse over 15 years. All 3 had chickenpox at roughly the same age and it was the same, so I'm curious why Measles would be different.

JaxTellersOldLady Wed 02-Jun-10 09:13:36

well my MIL is almost blind in one eye due to measles, so I would vaccinate. I also know others of her age who were very very ill with Measles.

I think it has always been a 'serious' disease.

When I was 12 (24 years ago) I had chickenpox and was very ill. The Doctor said he had never seen a case so bad. I had them everywhere, could hardly swallow and ended up with strong antibiotics to try to help me. I was off school for ages, remember hallucinating and I suspect that if it had happened now (2010) I would be hospitalised as I had a severe reaction.

In USA they vaccinate against chickenpox.

BelleDameSansMerci Wed 02-Jun-10 09:14:24

Measles can be horribly dangerous. And Chicken Pox can have some pretty unpleasant side effects too. I really don't understand the "Chicken Pox Parties" thing at all...

I'm not a GP.

brimfull Wed 02-Jun-10 09:16:10

well I have an 18yrold and it wasn't considered a mild disease when she was a baby.
my grandmother also ended up with one blind eye as a result of measles

OrmRenewed Wed 02-Jun-10 09:19:04

Eh? Measles can be a horrible disease? Don't know why anyone would suggest otherwise.

CMOTdibbler Wed 02-Jun-10 09:19:20

My grandmother was deaf in one ear from measles, and my DH had his sight permanently affected as a result and was very ill

iloveasylumseekers Wed 02-Jun-10 09:19:28

The disease is no different, it always has been unpleasant but not dangerous for the majority but serious for a (unpredictable) minority. The big problem as I see it as that because it was virtually eradicated by immunisation, we now have a generation of doctors who have never seen it - this will lead to missed or delayed diagnosis and the implications thereof.

Chickenpox, too, can be fatal but this is uncommon; I am looking forward to universal varicella vaccination as they have in the US. It also causes us huge problems in pregnancy and with shingles/chronic pain in the elderly, as well as with the very sick child, so I'd be happy to say goodbye to that, too.

PfftTheMagicDragon Wed 02-Jun-10 09:22:37

All of these diseases CAN have serious side effects.

Just look at chickenpox in the US. Ridiculous.

OrmRenewed Wed 02-Jun-10 09:22:37

"Just like chicken pox in the USA (and prob here too soon) "

My granny died from shingles, caught from a baby who had chicken pox. I don't see how that could be more serious TBH.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 02-Jun-10 09:23:25

yy to chickenpox; my nephew was hospitalised and on a AB drip due to hideous infection of some of his spots, and my friend's DS has been in hospital twice following CP complications, latest to drain abcesses in his chest as a result of the infection that took hold.

PfftTheMagicDragon Wed 02-Jun-10 09:24:11

I would like to see serious, useable advice given to parents about how to properly deal with such diseases. Not old wives tales floating around, where everyone thinks a million different things about treatments for pox spots or incubation periods. And what to give when they have measles.

Onajourney Wed 02-Jun-10 09:27:14

Thank you iloveasylumseekers, that makes sense about doctors not having seen it as eldest had Scarlet Fever which was diagnosed as something else but my Mum when she saw him said "no way that is Scarlet Fever" when I took him back to the GP the oldest of the GP's said that indeed it was Scarlet Fever.

iloveasylumseekers Wed 02-Jun-10 09:27:34

incubation periods
periods of infectivity
exclusion from school


octopusinabox Wed 02-Jun-10 09:27:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iloveasylumseekers Wed 02-Jun-10 09:29:58

I see at least four or five cases of scarlet fever a year; I saw one last week, but my impression is just as you say; because it's now uncommon a lot of younger GPs won't ever knowingly have seen it. (although I'm only six years qualified as a GP, and ten years out of med scool, I had a great trainer)

iloveasylumseekers Wed 02-Jun-10 09:30:29

schoolblush (typo, promise)

silverfrog Wed 02-Jun-10 09:30:37

Orm, I didn't mean to suggest that chicken pox is never serious.

As others have said, any disease.can beserious.

On the whole, though, chi ken pox is a mild (although unpleasant) illness, and not all people will go on to develop shingles.

Over the course of a generation in the States, as the jab has become compulsory, chicken pox is viewed with almost hysteria. I know this as dd1 came down with it whilst on holiday in California. She had it very mildly, but was treated as though she had leprosy, tbh. It was extraordinary, and not particularly.helpful either.

fanjolina Wed 02-Jun-10 09:31:06

"Wild measles" was becoming milder and virtually dying out. However vaccinating against it has meant that either only the strongest strain has remained, or that it has mutated to become stronger (some scientific disagreement as to which of these is the case). So now if you do catch measles it is likely to be a lot more serious.

Onajourney Wed 02-Jun-10 09:32:13

Thank you again iloveasylumseekers, I didn't think it could have changed vastly in 15 years.

PfftTheMagicDragon Wed 02-Jun-10 09:32:25

ilove- I don't mean that I need the information. I meant that I would like to see comprehensive information given out to parents. Via HV's maybe? Or nurseries?

I have the werewithal to search google and look for things. But when my child had chickenpox I heard about 20 different versions of when I could take him out from different people. If I had listened to some of them (and plenty of people could take that advice as true and act on it) I would have taken him out when still contagious and spread it around.

I think that there is terrible misinformation out there about diseases. Can vitamin A be used as treatment for measles? If so - why don't people know?

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