Will you let your child catch measles?

>>  Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Through out her life I  have made sure that my daughter has had her vaccinations.  I was always completely bemused by the mothers who proudly and loudly announced in the playground that Darling Dilis had not had her jabs because Mummy cared so much about her.

Plan B  tagged me to tell you about Save The Children's push for increased rates of global vaccinations for children.  They specifically mention measles as a big killer.

We have a tendancy to think Third World when these sorts of discussions start but did you know that  France and neighbouring countries are experiencing an outbreak of measles. Last year there were over 4500 cases and this year's first quarter figures were:

France - 7321,  Spain - 657,  Switzerland - 390, UK - 345, Germany - 276  source

A number of children who have visited France this year have returned to the UK with measles and have then infected other children and adults who have not been immunised.

So far in both France and UK no one who has received 2 doses of a measles containing vaccine (usually MMR) has developed measles.
Some children can't have the vaccine for medical reasons but the protection for these children comes from the herd control of the overwhelming majority of children having been vaccinated,  preventing mass outbreak and lowering the likely hood that they will come into contact with the virus.
WHO says "Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available."
There was the panic about the combined MMR having links to Autism and Crohn's disease.  This link still remains unproven, unclear and is becoming less credible as continuing evidence shows.

Measles is a horrid disease and the infection rates are still rising in Europe and in the UK. We seem to have all forgotten how dreadful the disease is, the devastating affects it can have and that it is not a Third World phenomena, it is a risk here too.

You are never too old to be vaccinated, if you are travelling to mainland Europe for your holidays this year and your children aren't vaccinated perhaps you should consider it as a necessity alongside your sun cream and hat.

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