Myth: Measles Is A Trivial Illness, There's No Point to Vaccination
Even with the marvellous work of the successful Measles Initiative vaccination programme there were still 345,000 deaths from measles worldwide in 2005. Even in the UK, with comparatively adequate nutrition and abundant medical services, and a baseline of healthier people, the BBC cited some alarming statistics from the medical newspaper Pulse related to measles:
lowering levels of immunity meant as many as 12% of children and 20% of adults could be hospitalised if infected by measles.
Does a hospitalisation rate of 12% of children and 20% of adults sound like what Patrick Holford characterises as "mild and temporary illness"? Does it even vaguely resemble the Peter Hitchen version of measles:
In very rare instances, measles can lead to disastrous complications. In poor countries, where children are hungry and there is no clean water, it can easily be fatal. But in advanced civilisations such as ours, where hunger is extremely rare and clean sanitation universal, it isn't actually a big threat.If you want to learn about measles from the sort of world authority that I would hope that journalists would quote on the topic if they were seeking to inform rather than polarise then you need to read Dr Diane Griffin's testimony at the recent Autism Ominibus Hearings. Dr Griffin is the editor of the definitive Field's Virology and her status is such that she has contributed the chapter on measles for the last 3 editions.
Yet the MMR lobby pretend that it is.
For a good summary of the testimony, see Autism Diva's Omnibus hearing: Griffin.
[I]f you'd like to know about what happens to children who catch the wild-type measles and do just fine for 7 to 10 years when theyProf. Bustin wrote to The Observer in response to last week's MMR and autism story: he mentioned his own expert testimony and that of people like Griffin. And The Observer doesn't respond. Other papers hint that public health officials are shroud-waving when they talk about the dangers of a measles epidemic.
develope subacute sclerosingpanencephalitis or SSPE and then die a horrible death because the measles that had gone into a kind of remission and suddenly reaches a point of replication in their brains that destroys their brains literally eating it up (2785-2790). It's rare among kids who get the wild measles, but not found in kids who have been vaccinated for measles. Autism Diva's typical kid got wild-type measles at age 15 months or so. It was a pretty mild case. That kid was vaccinated on schedule with the MMR a few weeks later. It's frightening to think that kids who get the wild-type measles can end up dead from it 10 years later. That's one of the best arguments Autism Diva has ever seen for vaccinating.
Measles can kill quickly, too, but usually the death comes from a secondary infection. Measles seems to tie up all the immune resources or something and that allows whatever germs are around to come in and run amok and kill the child. So measles can cause a death by pneumonia, for instance, with the pneumonia germ sort of cooperating with the measles to kill the person (2799). Germs can be very scary things. Measles itself can kill people who have advanced AIDS or other severe immune dysfunction. Babies who are infected with the AIDS viruse are vaccinated with measles to take advantage of their still working immune system, after the person's immune system is badly damaged by AIDS they don't vaccinate for measles (2794). Measles is more contagious than many other viruses (2750).
Judge this for yourself. Take a look at the records of HPA mortality figures for measles 1940-2006. Look at the figures; follow the trends for the introduction of measles vaccination in the UK and the introduction of the MMR in 1988. Note the downward drift from:
- high six figure notifications down to low four figure numbers
- mortality rates in 3 figures to 2 and then single digits.
MMR Vaccine Does Not Contain Mercury, Thiomersal, Thimerosal and It Never Has
Another Preventable Tragedy