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Girl fighting for life after measles complications

The Local · 7 Nov 2011, 16:07

Published: 07 Nov 2011 16:07 GMT+01:00

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The girl, currently fighting for her life in a hospital in the Bavarian town of Aschaffenburg, is the third recent case of a child developing the life-threatening encephalitis SSPE as a consequence of catching measles as a baby in Germany. Another child that caught measles in 2006 died within a year of the same condition.

And a 13-year-old girl also died of SSPE in Bad Salzuflen in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in October, twelve years after contracting measles as an infant.

The cases have led the German association of paediatricians (BVKJ) to revise the risk of developing encephalitis after contracting measles from 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 200. There were 313 registered measles cases in children in 2006.

The BVKJ is calling on adults born after 1970 to refresh their measles inoculations to reduce the chances of infecting babies, who are only allowed to be immunized after the age of 11 months. The number of measles cases in adults has jumped dramatically, from 623 last year to 1,571 in 2011. As many as 159 babies have already caught the disease this year.

BVKJ spokesman Sean Monks advised all adults who are not certain whether they are inoculated to avoid all contact with babies. “The only protection is immunization,” added the BVKJ’s Martin Terhardt.

Monks says that SSPE can take between five and eight years to develop after the measles infection. Adults have a much lower chance of developing it – only 27 people died of SSPE in Germany between 2005 and 2010.

The increase in cases of measles has also been linked to waning enthusiasm for inoculations. A recent study found that one in three German parents have prejudices about child inoculations, despite the lack of scientific proof of any negative side effects.

Scientists believe it takes a 95-percent immunization rate to kill off a virus in a population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been no new outbreaks of measles in North and South America in eight years, where inoculation rates are comparatively high.

The WHO says only 80 percent of children are inoculated against measles in Germany. The rate is even lower in other European countries, and Europe has already missed the WHO target of wiping out measles by 2010. There was a serious measles outbreak in North Rhine-Westphalia in early 2009, which claimed the lives of two children.

Story continues below…

Doctors say that too many people still underestimate the dangers of measles, which results in complications in a quarter of cases. The WHO estimates that 450 people, mostly under the age of five, die of measles every year.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:26 November 7, 2011 by Englishted
It is difficult to comment on this without sounding racist ,so I make no comment.
20:30 November 7, 2011 by hanskarl
With the recent revelations regarding the potential causes of autism in the newly born one can understand why some parents elect to take this step. It makes little sense when past history seems to have proven the efficacy of the measles vaccine. Is this one that is suspected of causing autism in very young children? I do not know. One should be able to pick and choose which inoculations they will permit for their child. I am not certain how it is elsewhere but some countries allow parents this choice. Regardless, my deepest condolences for anyone who suffers through this type of dilemma.
22:42 November 7, 2011 by Cuchullain
No, it's not understandable at all. There is no link -- it's pure myth. That's why the rates are higher here -- ignorance.

"The increase in cases of measles has also been linked to waning enthusiasm for inoculations. A recent study found that one in three German parents have prejudices about child inoculations, despite the lack of scientific proof of any negative side effects."
03:49 November 8, 2011 by jbaker
Eat correctly and keep a healthy amount of vitamins and nutrients in your body and you do not get sick. These modern day pharmaceutical remedies are the pinnacle of what Practicing Medicine is all about. It is a money making scheme. The health industry would go out of business if people started using natural cures the way humanity has survived for many millenia.

You get sick if your resistance is low - Period. Being stressful adds to the problem also.

It's always about the Money and Control!
21:00 November 8, 2011 by charlenej
A "healthy amount of vitamins and nutrients" will not keep you from getting a virus.

And no scientific link has been found between vaccines and autism.
14:35 November 9, 2011 by zeddriver
While any Childs death is a terrible thing. One must take a look at the raw numbers. Out of a population of 80 million there were three deaths.

I have a cousin in the US that is in a wheel chair from a reaction to a flu vaccine. So I tend to have a rather cynical view of vaccines. She will forever suffer due to the cavalier way we let doctors inject us with pathogens. I have never been informed by a doctor before injecting me that there might be small chance of permanent and debilitating illness caused by the vaccine. There should always full disclosure along with a choice.

One of the biggest spreaders of disease are people that do not stay home when sick. Have poor public hygiene habits. Or jump aboard an airplane to spread illness around the world. Being mindful of those three things above would no doubt save more than three lives.
21:50 November 9, 2011 by infowars.com
The article says that " The WHO estimates that 450 people, mostly under the age of five, die of measles every year" so vacinate millions of children due to only 450 deaths due to mealses. 450 die from measles, more children/people die from bee and wasps a year.

Read the following article, more children are damaged by the vaccine than die from measles.

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