Selfish or stupid? - Measles Update

(Chris Dodd) #1

An unvaccinated French boy is believed to have reintroduced measles to Costa Rica, a country that had been free of the disease for five years.

Costa Rica’s health ministry said the five-year-old had arrived in the country with his parents on February 18. Local media reported that the illness was discovered when the boy and his mother - neither of whom had been vaccinated - consulted a doctor about a ‘rash’.

They confirmed other children who attended the boy’s school in France had come down with measles.

The arrival of the contagious and potentially deadly disease in a country that has been measles-free since 2014 is likely to increase concern about the anti-vaccine movement.

(Paul Flinders) #2

Selfish or stupid?

Well, both really - but surely only a risk to Costa Rica if they have stopped vaccinating.

(stella wood) #3

In order to answer your question… I must first raise another…

Do Travellers to Costa Rica have to make any sort of medical declaration or health control prior to arrival… ???

I recall we had to fill out some sort of questionnaire, which included Health, when travelling to Egypt many years ago…

Schools notify parents when something is rife… and measles is so dangerous, that the news would definitely have been passed around … so I feel confident the parents would have known the situation/threat…

(Chris Kite) #4
(Jane Jones) #5

If the country had been free of the disease for 5 years then isn’t it reasonable to wind down a nationwide vaccination programme?

(Paul Flinders) #6

The danger with a disease like measles which is highly contagious is controlling who gets to come in and mix with your unvaccinated population. Given that measles has not been eradicated worldwide and there is always the danger (even if smaller than it used to be) of an infected individual entering the country.

Maybe, if you were an island and required proof of immunity to be granted a visa to enter the country you could get away with it - but the last time I checked Costa Rica wasn’t an island.

(stella wood) #7

Frankly, it sounds to me that the parents put more value on their trip than the health of their son… since the school would have notified all parents of the outbreak with the advice to take any non-vaccinated children to the Doc asap…

but, it’s been a long, hot day… so perhaps it must me being tetchy

and, I cannot locate anywhere that says Costa Rica have pulled back from vaccinating… they are justifiably proud of having eradicated Measles within their boundaries and intend to ensure it does not rampage again.

(Véronique Langlands) #8

The parents are either an exceptional case, very stupid or very selfish.
Or a combination of any or all of the above.

(David Wren) #9

Are French children vaccinated as part of a state program? Would the child’s parents, and presumably others in his school, have opted out for whatever reason? Is there any strong reason not to vaccinate any child at this time? I suppose as first hand experience of some of these preventable diseases isn’t in the modern memory, so people fail to see the danger. I doubt this is a purely French problem.

My daughter had every vaccine, now she’s off travelling to Asia we have encouraged her (paid for) to have all sorts of jabs. Why would you risk it? Crazy times.

(Jane Jones) #10

Where countries have eradicated measles the WHO recommends carrying out a vaccination programme at least every 5 years. Costa Rica started that last December…see here…

Campaign Vaccination against measles reaches 63% of target population.

Authorities urge parents to take the children to be vaccinated.
Vaccine is applied at no additional cost to public health services.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019. After evaluating the fourth week of the national measles vaccination campaign, on January 11, 2019, health authorities reported a total of 400,005 vaccinated children out of the 635,000 immunized. This figure represents 63% coverage of the vaccines applied.

The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas Peraza, explains that: "The campaign, which began on December 12, aims to increase protection in the child population and prevent the reintroduction of measles in the country. The World Health Organization recommends carrying out a vaccination campaign against measles at least every 5 years, according to the epidemiological profile of the country to guarantee protection. "

(Timothy Cole) #11

The MMR vaccination is now compulsory in France as far as I know.

(stella wood) #12

As in most countries… the vaccinations are always available… but campaigns are aimed at highlighting awareness of a specific illness/disease… and hopefully mopping up the ditherers or newcomers…

(Véronique Langlands) #13

Up until recently only Diphtheria Polio and Tetanus were compulsory, all the rest were highly recommended - you could not, for example, put your child in a state school if it hadn’t had the BCG (hangover from 19th to mid 20thC where TB was the no.1 cause of sterility) but that is all changing now, or very soon.

The present rate of measles vaccination in Nouvelke Aquitaine is about 60%.

(David Wren) #14

Interesting stats @vero. It strikes me that if parents and grandparents are really interested in their children’s/ grandchildren’s futures they might ensure vaccinating them against some seriously nasty diseases.

(stella wood) #15

Sadly, many parents are against vaccines… we had quite a heated discussion this time last year, I seem to recall… :roll_eyes::zipper_mouth_face:

(Jane Williamson) #16

We were in the first group of parents who were faced with a dilemma because of the scaremongering relating MMR to autism.
We went ahead and part of our reasoning was that it was our duty to help keep the country free of tgese awful diseases.

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(Teresa Shipley) #17

60% seems pretty low. That means a lot of parents are not getting their children vaccinated. When mine were little I didn’t know anyone who refused vaccinations for their child.

(Véronique Langlands) #18

One difference between France and the UK is that the nanny state is just that: when I lived in the UK you were sent a postcard reminding you to take your baby to the health visitor for vaccinations, you had another set of postcards from the dentists, you had 10 days of midwives’ visits post-birth, home birth is fairly mainstream, you practically never saw a dr.

In France you are expected to remember to do stuff because you are grown-up and should be sorting yourself out. If you want a homebirth you are probably in a weirdo cult for knit-your-own-yoghurt types who believe in crystal therapy and gongs etc etc. If you forget to do vaccinations nobody will remind you.

I don’t think many people actively refuse vaccination, I just think that as only 3 are actually compulsory they are slack and then it bites them later. The rate for measles vaccination is low but I don’t know about the other ones.

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(Ben van Staveren) #19

I’m not touching this one with a 20ft barge pole, I’d get my ass banned so fast it’d still hurt next year…

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(Teresa Shipley) #21

The problem as I see it is the split between alternative 'hippie therapies and conservative medicine.
I personally like to look at all kinds of therapies and medicines. I am pro childhood vaccines, although I don’t like the fact that more than 3 can be given in one go. I also think some, not all alternative remedies have a valid place as complementary therapies.
I find it strange that some ,many, doctors quite happily embrace bombarding humans with toxins dressed up as medicine and yet scoff at harmless and often helpful herbal therapies.
I fervently believe that if proper research was done into alternative therapies we could probably save billions on health care.
It never ceases to amaze me that people with back pain are not referred immediately to an osteopath or chiropractor who often in two sessions could sort out a problem. Instead hundreds of pounds are spent on pain relief, drs appointments and pain clinics and sometimes back surgery. It’s a mad world.

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