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Measles epidemic in Val Thorens

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Authorities are warning visitors to Val Thorens to take care if they are not vaccinated against measles as an epidemic is raging among season workers in the resort.

Many French people do not vaccinate their kids which increases the risk, even to those vaccinated.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@davidof, Shocked
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
There's been a massive increase in measles cases in Europe recently. WHO figures were astonishing. From 5,273 cases in 2016 to 82, 596 in 2018. 72 people died.
Completely preventable. I just don't understand why you wouldn't protcet your child against what may be a life-threatenting disease.
As a small child around 6 (I think I was just too old to benefit from the vaccination programme), I had measles. I can still remember how ill and awful I felt. My sister also had it before she reached vaccination age, and her spots haemorrhaged.
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Thanks for the heads up, will ask my group about their vaccination history! That would seriously spoil a trip... Sad
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@Hells Bells, very interesting stats there. That's a big trend shift in a short timescale.

It'd be funny if not so serious, but talking about risk over on that avalanche thread most recently where people do see what they are taking on. Compared to this situation, in which the victims are quite likely to have had the decision made for them by parents perhaps.

It's not a risk you'd volunteer to take given the serious implications, but people seem to be making the choice for vaccination without really considering the finality of some outcomes.
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Anti-vax idiocy.
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under a new name wrote:
Anti-vax idiocy.



+1 .
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It never even crossed my mind not to vaccinate my children, it wasn't an issue, but I do know of some equally well (!) educated people who did consider not doing so. Their son was younger and it was around the time Andrew Wakefield's paper was published linking vaccinations to autism and other sever learning disabilities. Pretty sure they did vaccinate him in the end though. My brother also chose to have separate vaccinations for the three diseases in MMR for his two younger children, but had to pay for them privately, he's not a rich man by any means.
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Well, upon querying my small group we have my British-self fully vaccinated, one my lovely Greek OH fully vaccinated, and two British 70s born with NO measles vac! Appartly there was a rumour back then linking measles vaccine to brain damage... rolling eyes
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Andrew Wakefield was disbarred by the BMA as a result of his falsification of results and continued misrepresentation of facts. Now he's in the USA earning a nice little number from the alt-right anti-federal nutters over there. Blame the Daily Mail for supporting him over here and for the consequential damage to hundreds of families and children's lives as a result of their 'crusade'.

The real problem is that for most infectious diseases to be contained, immunisation requires everyone in the target group to be vaccinated. You can't have any significant proportion of people not vaccinated, or it just provides a pool of people who re-infect all over again. And if the virus mutates even slightly, then you're back at square one.

Of course, this raises questions of state versus individual and how much power you should give to the state to impose vaccination. The counter is the Thalidomide programme. But in the case of MMR, all the data points to it being a hugely net benefit to vaccinate. Vaccination will always produce a small incidence of adverse reaction, and this is what Wakefield played to. People like to have absolute certainty in their lives but immunisation is one of those risk vs benefit questions that as adults, we know we have to accept, inasmuch as the miniscule risk of reaction is hugely outweighed by the benefits.
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One of my nieces hasn't had any of her 3 offspring vaccinated at all not even the Vit K (?) jab at birth!
Her and her sisters had all their jabs - as we did back then.
Theres no accounting for stupidity spread by Facebook mothers groups, one of her cohort featured in the Daily Mail demanding to be allowed to breastfeed on the edge of a public swimming pool with faux sad photo rolling eyes
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My daughter just dropped out of a "Year 2 mothers" Whatsapp group because she was fed up with that kind of stuff. She also made the valid point that you can be "joined" to a Whatsapp group without your permission, and then have to make a "statement" about leaving, not just keep quiet and slip away.
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When he was little our (now teen) son was showing signs of autism so as a precaution we paid for the single jabs. There was just so much contradictory information around at the time but we had to make a decision. We knew we didn't want to NOT vaccinate, so this seemed the best course of action. As it turns out he has ADHD and is "on the spectrum" but at least the way we did it, we never had to think "I wonder if........". Sorry to hear about the Val Thorens outbreak Sad
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You know it makes sense.
My grandmother nursed kids dying of diptheria in a fever hospital and was a fervent vaccinator - so I was indoctrinated (not to mention vaccinated) at an early age. When my daughter was born in Barbados in 1983 the vit K jab wasn't given locally and the office arranged for the stuff to be sent out - I did the deed myself, and also the "heel prick" blood test for PKU etc.
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@bambionskiis, I can see how it can be a difficult decision in cases such as your son's. We have a friend with a severely autistic child (now 2Cool who will probably always think 'what if' as his autism became noticeable around the time of his MMR vaccination, but she has concluded it wasn't, as she thinks there were small signs ages before hand.
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@Hells Bells, but they should never, ever think "what if" (re MMR) because there is no evidence, zero, null, nicht, that there is any link to autism...that barsteward Wakefield made it all up!
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https://www.france24.com/en/20190208-measles-outbreak-hits-val-thorens-ski-resort-french-alps

The French outbreak is now Watch level 1

Travelers to France should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/measles-france

Any odds on when the first School trip gets cancelled in panic!


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 10-02-19 14:42; edited 2 times in total
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@rungsp, I know.
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@rungsp, but at that time there was a lot of contradictory evidence floating about, and as harassed parents you just try and do the best for kids.

We paid for separate vaccines at time, partly due to element of doubt, and partly as friends who'd done the MMR route reported kids being ill after.
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@Boris, isn’t there always contradictory evidence? There’s contradictory evidence on whether the Earth is flat or spherical, depending on who you chose to believe. From what I recall at the time there was the medical and scientific community on one side and Wakefield, some media outlets and some politicians on the other. An early example of “we’re sick of experts”.
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There wasn't a lot of contradictory evidence. Just a lot of noise. And panic. Anyone who was not vaccinated against measles as a child could be very ill as an adult. Measles is no joke.
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'at that time there was a lot of contradictory evidence floating about'

No there wasn't.

There was not one shred of evidence

No doctor, if asked, would have said that Wakefield's research had any merit whatsoever. The medical profession were exceptionally clear that his research was rubbish and his conclusions 100% unjustifiable. All you had to do was ask your GP.

Yes, go to the Daily Mail or any one of a thousand self-serving websites and you will have seen Wakefield's or the Mail's lies regurgitated. But you surely don't make major decisions on your children's health solely on the basis of a newspaper article or a web page? For a starter, you ask your GP and take it form there. And if you asked you GP they would have said thatthere was absolutely zero evidence for what Wakefied and The Daily Mail were claiming - it was at best just not true and at worst, a lie.
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But even if you fell for the Daily Mail back then, it's never too late. Measles can be awful for adults. Complications are more likely too. Get the vaccination now! it's never too late.
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The media speculation did make us look twice and do our own research. As it came out around the time we were vaccinating my eldest of memory serves. The research meant we did go ahead with the MMR, given he frenzy I can understand why people asked questions and paid for separate jabs.

As it turns out our youngest is on the spectrum as well. There is a Facebook group that I joined where many are blaming the Autism in their children on vaccines. Sad
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Quote:

There is a Facebook group that I joined where many are blaming the Autism in their children on vaccines

Given that most kids were vaccinated, you could blame all kinds of subsequent problems on the vaccine, if you had a mind to do so. But it's sad that parents in that situation might be blaming themselves for having done the right thing at the time.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

There is a Facebook group that I joined where many are blaming the Autism in their children on vaccines

Given that most kids were vaccinated, you could blame all kinds of subsequent problems on the vaccine, if you had a mind to do so. But it's sad that parents in that situation might be blaming themselves for having done the right thing at the time.


I know but more concerned with the message they are STILL spreading to others.

To be fair it is very hard not to go through the self blame thing - been there myself.
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@LaForet, The medical profession might have been "exceptionally clear" but they did not get the message over. It took a few years before his dodgy financial affairs were uncovered, by the press, where he would have gained somehow by people not taking up the vaccine. It was over 10 years before he was struck off and his report pulled out of the lancet.
That is an awful lot of parents looking for information in that time and as wakefield, quite successfully, painted the picture of himself battling against the entrenched interests of the medical profession, drugs companies and government he was bound to influence people.
We had young children in that time and after looking into it decided to get the MMRs. but I don't remember anything being exceptionally clear and there must have been a lot of people who chose the other options, pay to import the single stuff (or whatever you had to do)or not at all.
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next year
Quote:

I know but more concerned with the message they are STILL spreading to others
Yes, that is certainly a concern. I suppose all you can do is point to the evidence and try to reassure people. And point out that the fact that X followed Y says nothing about causation. The way social media works makes this sort of mutual panicking more and more likely. It was discussion about a short "residential" school trip in the next academic year which persuaded my daughter to opt out. Parents whipping each other into a frenzy about their poor little darlings possibly having to spend a night without mummy next year. Some were horrified to find that no "mummy helpers" would be going on the trip. They will no doubt be spreading this hysteria to the kids. Child abuse... Twisted Evil Now that my daughter has left that Whatsapp group the other mummies might be gossiping about how she dumps her kids on her mother at every opportunity. Laughing They have had "sleepovers" with me since they were off the breast.
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You know it makes sense.
Quote:

The medical profession might have been "exceptionally clear" but they did not get the message over

They got it over to me. But if people prefer to get their guidance on medicine from the Daily Mail than from their GP there is probably no hope for them.
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'That is an awful lot of parents looking for information in that time and as wakefield, quite successfully, painted the picture of himself battling against the entrenched interests of the medical profession, drugs companies and government he was bound to influence people.'

It wasn't anything to do with his sincerity or whether he had any vested financial interest. Just a cursory look at his 'evidence' and you had to conclude it was meaningless. And not one other medical researcher or professional supported his research results or analysis. You had to ignore him and, obviously, anything in the press, and look to see what other, corroborating data was there. And there wasn't any. Not just was there no other data but a huge volume of existing research flatly contradicted his.

What he did which was appalling was to call a press conference to publicise his limited and bad research work and meaningless conclusions. You don't do that in medical research until you at least have some corroborating parallel research by someone else. Otherwise, even if you're sincere (which he wasn't: he was and is a charlatan) you can mislead the public terribly. And divert a load of GP time and resources.

Worse than the damage he's done to children who would otherwise not have contracted MMR - for which he should be jailed and the Daily Mail shut down - is that he's negated much of the point of the immunisation programme, which needs close to 100% of the target group to be inoculated for it to be effective. Otherwise, as I said, you just end up with an untreated pool of carriers who continually re-infect the treated group and pose a major threat to those not yet inoculated. And all because of one self-serving, failed researcher and an unscrupulous newspaper.
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Does some blame not attach to The Lancet, which took far too long to disown the research they'd published?
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@pam w, You may be right but wakefield was also a doctor, and he was allowed to publish in the lancet, and remained a doctor until 2010 ish. Does your GP publish very often in the lancet ?
I am not a daily mail reader but all the papers have health stuff in them, often written by doctors, so some people are bound to let that influence their decision making, whether that give them no hope only time will tell Laughing
Wakefield used the media very well to promote his case, the authorities and medical profession, it seemed to me, did not promote the counter arguments any where near as well.
I would imagine a lot of the people who paid out of their own pocket for single vaccines were not daily mail readers either.
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RE The Lancet being responsible - I'd say not. Publishing results in a professional journal only provides a certain degree of validation, mainly that the process followed basic rules for research. A lot of research has limited funds, so isn't done on a scale that makes things certain. It's common for a small-scale research project to throw up contradictory results, so any journal will not reject it just because it is contradictory - it may be significant and mean further research needs to be funded. Or it may just be an anomaly. What you don't ever do is take such results and make the sort of claims that were made, ahead of possibly years of work by parallel groups to validate and extend it.

It's hard to get the Scientific Method across to the general public. There's also always the example of the Thalidomide programme, and obviously, cigarettes and cancer in the back of clinician's minds. It may just be that a small-scale research project is raising valid questions about accepted wisdom. But in the case of cigarette cancer, the process was followed and it was Big Tobacco that was trying to suppress a large body of thorough evidence that showed how bad cigarettes were. Thalidomide was more problematic - accepted wisdom was that it worked fine and it was hard initially to be sure that it was actually the cause.

However, none of this applied in the case of MMR and autism. A single, limited research project produced some odd results that it was reasonable to write up in a journal. They demanded some more research should be done, not that he should have called an international press conference to diss the whole idea of the MMR inoculation programme. Even if he was sincere, he shouldn't have done it. As we've seen, he's condemned a generation of children to suffering.
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I was a bit concerned about this as I’ve been unwell and come out in a rash after recently being in 3V.

Visited a French pharmacy today and was told the the rash was likely an allergic reaction to something (skiing? Very Happy ) and the other symptoms just a nasty cold.
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Raven wrote:
I was a bit concerned about this as I’ve been unwell and come out in a rash after recently being in 3V.



bed bugs?
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Hells Bells wrote:
There's been a massive increase in measles cases in Europe recently. WHO figures were astonishing. From 5,273 cases in 2016 to 82, 596 in 2018. 72 people died.
Completely preventable. I just don't understand why you wouldn't protcet your child against what may be a life-threatenting disease.
As a small child around 6 (I think I was just too old to benefit from the vaccination programme), I had measles. I can still remember how ill and awful I felt. My sister also had it before she reached vaccination age, and her spots haemorrhaged.


I had measles as a child and it was the worst thing I’ve had to endure. I remember hallucinating and seeing all sorts of weird stuff. Shocked
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I'm 53, didn't we all get MMR vaccine at school, along with TB I think?
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davidof wrote:
Raven wrote:
I was a bit concerned about this as I’ve been unwell and come out in a rash after recently being in 3V.



bed bugs?


That was my other thought but the pharmacist thinks probably not. The rash is reasonably symmetrical and worse around where the waistband of my skipants would go and even around my neck and hairline. It’s sort of a prickly heat type rash and extremely itchy.

I did check the room of where I was staying in Austria last week thoroughly after the rash came up but found nothing. Of course I could have been bitten earlier.
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I was born too long ago for immunisation, and had measles age about 6, as this was over 50years ago, does it still mean I can't get it again?
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I'm too old to have been vaccinated and, although I've had both measles and rubella, I've never had mumps. Should I be worried?
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