Last week in Wales a young man died of measles, a highly contagious disease and one that is easily preventable with vaccination. It is a reminder to parents everywhere of the importance of vaccinating children against diseases that can be deadly.
In developed countries some parents had opted out of vaccinating their children due to the controversy over the research in the late 1990s about MMR (a combination vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella) being linked to autism. That study has since been discredited.
Worldwide, almost one-third (29 per cent) of all deaths in children aged between a month and five years old are caused by an illness – such as measles, pneumococcal diseases, tetanus, or diarrhoea – that could have been prevented by a vaccine, and the numbers left unprotected are increasing. More than 22 million children were left unvaccinated in 2011, up more than a million in 12 months.
As in the Wales case, measles can be a fatal disease and around one in every 1,000 people who contracts measles in developed countries will die.” Symptoms of measles include fever, cold-like symptoms, fatigue, conjunctivitis and a distinctive red-brown rash that appears a few days into the illness.
Source: The Independent, April 19, 2013