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First measles death suspected in Swansea

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

25 year old man found dead, measles suspected, autopsy pending.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Well said fed up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is MMR protection lifelong?

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

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

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

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

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

So many parameters to consider...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No AmandinePoulain - it doesn't.

It means that public health is complicated.

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

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

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

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

"Victim" of a vaccination program hmm

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

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

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

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