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Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingNewborn & Baby · 1 decade ago

What is up with all the measles and mumps outbreaks?!?

Am I the only one getting scared here? I literally hear of a new one every week (always in some western nation). Here's the latest one:

Why doesn't this get more press?


MF - Yes, I know that is true...I guess what I'm really wondering is if people know about this and are choosing not to vaccinate anyway (and if so their rationale), or if people truly don't know at all. These diseases are far from eradicated, and with current immunization rates I worry it may only be a matter of time.

Update 2:

Rainwriterm - I wonder why you do not consider them dangerous? Hundreds of thousands actually died of the measles before there was a vaccine. I don't call that mild; that they are caused by viruses means nothing. AIDS is a virus too.

I am also aware that vaccinations do not make all the vaccinated immune, but that has never been the point of vaccination to begin with. The point of vaccination is not INDIVIDUAL immunity, it is HERD immunity.

Update 3:

Rainwaterm - Make up your mind. Is measles a virus or a bacterial infection?

Do you know what encephalitis is? Do you know how serious it is? That only 10-15% of the 1 in 1000 that develop it will die means nothing if you have ever once stared at an adult or child with a tube in their head draining fluid from their brain because they have encephalitis. 1 in 1000 developing encephalitis is a lot! Really - encephalitis causes horrible morbidity as well as mortality.

You are correct, however that the hundreds of thousands who died a half century ago were not privy to the advanced medicine of today. That means that we would see better outcomes in morbidity and mortality in outbreaks today vs. outbreaks then, however you can say the same thing about any disease or condition. Medicine is just plain better today. That means that even those kids who get encephalitis will probably survive; they'll just be brain damaged.

Update 4:

mystic - Sorry but I was not alerted to this outbreak through standard "panic" media. I was alerted through this website:

I see that you are apparently a government conspiracy theorist by insinuating that the CDC and UK health organizations are somehow covering something up or withholding information. I wonder why you think they would do that.

That two people in this particular outbreak were immunized really means nothing if you understand the concept of herd immunity. Please google it if you do not.

Update 5:

rainwriterm - I really didn't understand your last edit. If you want to debate/discuss like an adult it would go a lot further for your argument. Perhaps you could refute something I actually said or wrote?

8 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've read that they fear an epidemic in the UK. In Australia we are having outbreaks of whooping cough. What I did not realise is that teenager and adults require booster shots for Whooping cough. Authorities are advising women receive a booster shot BEFORE they become pregnant and elderly people receive a booster shot. We have had more cases of measles and mumps too but in Australia we still have a high vaccination rate although numbers are decreasing. Basically, the outbreaks are occurring because those who are not vaccinated and those who have not had boosters are contracting the disease and passing it on. Whilst the anti-vaccination movement is strong we will see more outbreaks. People also need to be made aware that they require booster shots as adults. The big fear now though, and what authorities are predicting, is that Polio is going to be seen again in the US and the UK. Parents are scared to vaccinate because the information they have on vaccinations is not based on scientific fact or on credibility. One doctor (now suspended and proved wrong) makes a link between vaccinations and autism and suddenly some parents who have autistic children have something/someone (the governments) to blame, emotions run high and fear drives an anti-vac movement.

    Note: There is a proved link between Autism and pregnant women who contract Rubella. I think that in itself, makes a compelling case for vaccines.

    Also, I am a practicing naturopath. I believe in preventative health. Vaccines prevent disease and illness and there are more toxins in our bodies, environment and in our food than there is in vaccines.

    Edit: I just wanted to add this re whooping cough

    "Dutch doctors have warned parents not to delay vaccinating their children against whooping cough, caused by Bordetella pertussis, as serious cases could require hospital treatment and may result in death. The Dutch Paediatrics Association emphasises that eight children have died in the Netherlands from whooping cough since 1996. None had been vaccinated.

    Fears about delayed vaccination have arisen because, although a more effective vaccine with fewer adverse reactions is to be introduced as part of the national vaccination programme, this will not happen until 2005, as stocks have to be imported.

    The introduction has coincided with a new whooping cough epidemic and a general decline in vaccination rates amid concerns about the current vaccine.

    The Institute for Public Health and the Environment (the RIVM) in Bilthoven reported 1030 cases of whooping cough in July, compared with an average monthly figure of between 200 and 400."

    I haven't come across any information which states that the vaccine does not cover all strains of pertussis (whooping cough). The vaccine does not offer a lifetime protection which why booster shots are required.

    RE measles

    "The main message from my standpoint is that measles is a bad disease, and it is even a bad disease in the developed world," Lynfield said, pointing out that 22 percent of the U.S. cases reported earlier this year ended up in the hospital, and that even with good medical care, the death rate is estimated at about one in 1,000. "There's also an incidence of encephalitis [direct brain infection] of one in a thousand, and people can be left with very significant, severe sequelae (other conditions)," Lynfield warned."


    This is occuring because of low vaccination rates.

    "Tougher, vaccine-resistant strains of measles could sweep the world unless more children get vaccinated, says a top scientist.

    Dr Claude Muller, from the National Health Laboratory in Luxembourg, told New Scientist magazine that the virus was known to have the ability to mutate rapidly.

    Patchy vaccination coverage was likely to encourage the selection and survival of more resistant strains, he said.

    The worldwide immunisation programme should be stepped up to knock out resistant strains before they get a foothold, he said.

    There are some fears in Britain that measles could re-emerge in areas where measles vaccination uptake is poor, particularly in the inner cities.

    Here, an outbreak would expose thousands of children to some risk of disability, or, in a very few cases, death.

    A spokesman for the Public Health Laboratory Service said that vaccine-resistant strains had yet to emerge here.

    He said: "Although there is some diversity of strains of measles in the UK, the range is relatively limited."

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  • 1 decade ago

    Some people are choosing not to immunize their children, but I also heard on the news last week that there may need to be a booster shot given to kids 7-10 because during this time the shot begins to wear off before they get the next one at 11.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because the media sells by instilling fear and panic.

    There was a study once that found in NY during a year when murders decreased by 50% the coverage of murders by the media increased 500%. So people perceived that there were more murders when there were not.

    Also recently in Europe they have admitted that mumps and whooping cough are coming back because the vaccines don't cover the strains that are currently circulating, and yet even though some of these outbreaks are tracked from there to here the CDC denies that there are any common strains not covered by vaccines.

    In Stockport the mumps virus identified from several cases was of the G6 genotype. The mumps vaccine used in the UK MMR is of the A genotype. The Public Health Laboratory Service advises that cross protection from the different strains should be sufficient (I do not know what studies they base this advice on), but four of the confirmed cases in Stockport had received two doses of MMR. "It is possible that immunisation against mumps is causing a mutant strain to emerge with limited or no cross protection from the vaccine strain"(5), as has occurred with whooping cough (6).

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  • 3 years ago

    unlawful extraterrestrial beings (also, a huge variety of criminal immigrants) are to blame for a huge variety of diseases cropping up mainly communities. yet not because they were not immunized (as certainly, many were). in the starting up, immunizations are fairly ineffective throughout the board....they avert not something. the authentic difficulty right that is unsanitary residing coupled with severe overcrowding. Stuffing a dozen those who do not seem after uncomplicated well being themes into an section designed for 2 outcomes contained in the spread of ailment. the base line. Civilized international places conquered those diseases when we stopped residing like that. Now they are back....thanks men. Please flow residing house.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's probably because of the current fad of parents choosing to not immunize their children from the many childhood diseases that were once popular, decreased in incidence since immunization and are coming back again.

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  • 1 decade ago

    More than what's happening to cause the outbreaks, I'm wondering what's happening that they are being portrayed as so dangerous. Measles and mumps can be a lot like the chicken pox in treating their symptoms. They're mild diseases for the most part.

    Measles and mumps are caused by viruses. I know a lot of people think that it's happening because kids aren't vaccinated, but that isn't a super good explanation, and definitely not the only one.

    It's also possible that many people who are vaccinated for the measles and mumps don't actually have an immunity. Getting the vaccination does not lead to a guaranteed immunity, and the tests that check for immunity levels are rarely preformed unless specifically asked for. So, parents might think that since their kids have had their vaccinations they are immune, but their bodies may not have actually developed an immunity from the vaccine, or they only developed a partial immunity. Plus, measles and mumps vaccines usually require boosters sometime after the initial vaccine to keep up the immunity, which many people may not get. Even if they don't show signs of having the virus, they can still carry the virus and transmit it to others who aren't immune (either through vaccinations or through lack of developing an immunity through the vaccinations).

    Edit: "The prognosis for a child who is otherwise in good health is usually very good...The most serious consequence of a measles infection is encephalitis. One in 1,000 measles patients will develop encephalitis. Of this number, about 10 percent to 15 percent will die."

    That means that about only 2 in 1 million will die from encephalitis, which is the most serious consequence of the measles. Any other deaths from the measles are going to be from improperly treating the symptoms of measles and fevers are not properly reduced, fluids are not pushed, and aspirin may be given instead of other pain killers. But, it is not difficult to treat a fever, to push fluids, and to treat any bacterial infections that happen to occur with antibiotics.

    The "hundreds of thousands" that died of measles before the vaccination actually died of what? They didn't die just from contracting the disease. Did they die of dehydration? Malnutriton? From having an uncontrolled fever? From a bacterial infection that wasn't treated properly? Only about 2 in a million die from encephalitis, so the others had to have died from something else. What was it? It wasn't just contracting the measles.

    Edit: Okay, let's try this again.

    OMG! You are so right! I mean, how dare these parents think that measles and mumps are no big deal? People DIE from these all the time, and it's not a joke. Why can't these stupid hippy parents just vaccinate their children? Then no one would catch the measles and everyone would live. This is so ridiculously dangerous, and the media says nothing about it! Yeah, I mean, measles is just a virus that is easy to treat, but what about all of those people who get a bacterial infection as a result? What about all of those stupid people who don't vaccinate their kids? Then everyone else's kids get sick! Well, they shouldn't, because they're vaccinated, but, ya know. :) The press definitely needs to be showing us what can really happen so we stop being so stupid and realize that measles is an awful, deadly, horrible disease!


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's because of the MMR paranoia. It's very sad.


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  • Erika
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    ...I gotta say, all these people recently refusing to immunize is causing this world to go back to disease ridden.

    I'm glad my kids are immunized.

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