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Death toll rises

(167 Posts)
stargirl1701 Fri 30-Nov-12 11:50:01

The number of babies under 3 months who have died from whooping cough this year has risen to 13. Just so awful. My thoughts are with their families today.

GeorgeCauldron Sat 01-Dec-12 11:35:21

Yes, it's awful. Really awful. And preventable.

Funny how the anti-vaxxers - who are so keen to parade their concerns for children - never express any sympathy for those who are killed or disabled by vaccine-preventable diseases or for their families. I suppose that what's happens if you need to stop reality and the consequences of your own actions intruding on your conscience.

Tabitha8 Sat 01-Dec-12 16:02:58

There was an article on the news last night saying that uptake of the whooping cough vaccine is high and that it's the lack of circulating virus that's causing a problem as we don't all get natural boosters.

RooneyMara Sat 01-Dec-12 16:08:42

This is really sad, but was there any need for the utterly grim title?

I don't think that scaring people stupid is the best way to persuade people to have the injection - presumably those who are reluctant have other reasons than wanting their kids to die.

LilQueenie Sat 01-Dec-12 16:39:47

GeorgeCauldron I think that is a bit ott dont you?

stargirl1701 Sat 01-Dec-12 17:03:41

Same title as on the BBC website. How else would you describe it? It's baffling the medical profession from what I've read. WC vax levels are high. Just a tragic situation IMHO.

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Sat 01-Dec-12 17:06:13

But it's an utterly grim subject. You can't add some glitter and butterflies to this discussion to make it better can you?

bruffin Sat 01-Dec-12 17:11:56

The uptake maybe high now, but i suspect there is significant part of the population unvaccinated from the 1970s when there was a vaccine scare about whooping cough.

Sabriel Sat 01-Dec-12 17:18:40

From the bbc website.

"Health experts do not know why the outbreak is so large this year, especially as vaccination for whooping cough is at record levels.

Another idea is that tight control of whooping cough is part of the problem. People's immunity to whooping cough is boosted throughout life by being regularly exposed to it.

However, after years of low levels of whooping cough the whole population may have been left more vulnerable to the infection."

I have no axe to grind as all of my DC have had the WC vax, but that reads as if it is the vax causing this increase? Children from the 1970s would be in their 40s now so I can't see the link there bruffin.

bruffin Sat 01-Dec-12 17:43:32

Adults would be catching it mildly and passing it on. Most people born in the 70s would be in their mid thirties answer still having babies and mixing with young children. The rate was as low as 30% in the 70s.

bruffin Sat 01-Dec-12 17:47:50

I'm not saying that is the entire reason, but his has to be part of it

RooneyMara Sat 01-Dec-12 18:16:03

I would say, deaths from whooping cough are up. Or more children have died from whooping cough. Or something just very slightly, subtly less dramatic.

I'm not talking about 'butterflies' (really?) but there's just no need to create (or copy) a dramatic headline and something like that will make people react with fear.


LilQueenie Sat 01-Dec-12 18:22:23

just out of interest when we talk about percentages in the 70s and now, is it taken into consideration that the population may be higher/lower (probably the latter) when these percentages are worked out. bringing numbers down to simple units here. pop of uk in 70s 1000. population of uk now 3000. a percentage of 10% in the 70's is obviously quite different to 10% of now.

stargirl1701 Sat 01-Dec-12 18:46:15

I disagree. I was incredibly fearful for my LO (now 12 weeks) before the 8 week vax. I restricted visitors and didn't go to groups because there is a WC epidemic this year. The more publicity the better. Fear can be useful.

WC regularly killed 300 people a year before vaccination started. I thank God that I live in a country where my child is vaccinated for free. Watching the programme Four Born Every Second (as part of the BBC poverty series) made me so grateful for the NHS.

RooneyMara Sat 01-Dec-12 18:51:51

Weren't you offered the vaccine? Was it not brought in till it was too late for you?

RooneyMara Sat 01-Dec-12 18:53:02

So you did want to make people frightened? Sorry I don't want to have an argument.

stargirl1701 Sat 01-Dec-12 19:38:30

I was too late for the vaccine. I had given birth before the govt offered the vaccine. I was very fearful of losing my LO. 2 babies locally were in intensive care with WC since she was born - one only 5 weeks. Knowing this changed my behaviour. I had intended to pop into work to let folks meet her but I didn't until she'd had her first vaccination. Really restricted visitors at home - no one with a cough. I was pretty mean smile

RooneyMara Sat 01-Dec-12 19:39:11

I understand. I would be the same. smile

Northernlurker Sat 01-Dec-12 19:59:55

The op has behaved very sensibly in the face of a serious epidemic. I have no problem with the title. There IS a death toll due to WC and it is rising. Coverage of that frightens people but then it will also raise awareness and save lives.

bruffin Sat 01-Dec-12 22:39:34


They dont work out the rates like that. Its not based on the whole population of the uk. When they say 95% coverage for a year it means 95% of the cohort due to be vaccinated.
The birth rate was slightly higher in the 1970s with only 30% of those being vaccinated
nowadays with a lower birth rate but around vaccination rates in the 90 %s So they say high vaccinate rate meaning the majority of the babies are being vaccinated now, not the whole of the population.

Firelighters Sun 02-Dec-12 09:06:44

I've heard the pertussis vaccine can increase vulnerability to parapertussis? Is this true?

Tabitha8 Sun 02-Dec-12 21:21:14

If all the babies born in the 1970s had been vaccinated, wouldn't their immunity have worn off by now, just like with the newer vaccine? The older vaccine was more effective, but would it also have lasted longer? For 40 years?

saintlyjimjams Sun 02-Dec-12 21:38:03

The favourite theories (and there is evidence for both) is that the vaccination is not lasting as long as it should or that whooping cough has mutated so the vaccination no longer protects (this is surprising in a way with whooping cough - more so than for some other diseases that are vaccinated against, but possible - it is well worth reading the work coming out of Andrew Read's lab if you want to understand more about the selection pressures imposed by vaccination). And yes Firelighters it does seem to increase parapertussis infection.

Unfortunately despite some of the hysterical (in tone) posts at the beginning o the thread, sorting out the current problems with whooping cough is unlikely to be as easy as vaccinating anyone who hasn't been vaccinated. They don't seem to be the driving force behind these outbreaks.

saintlyjimjams Sun 02-Dec-12 21:42:29

In the states the infection rates have been particularly high in vaccinated ten year olds and teenagers (the booster given in the States age 11 doesn't seem to be doing it's job? For whatever reason). Therefore most have concluded the problem is with the aP jab (older people received the wP) - although it's not yet clear why.

saintlyjimjams Sun 02-Dec-12 21:44:21

Australia and the States have been struggling with whooping cough outbreaks for the last few years, so their data is a good place to start if you want to find out what is going on (rather than shout about how it must be stupid people who don't vaccinate driving the outbreaks - unfortunately the evidence suggests otherwise).

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