A new study regarding deadly measles complications shows how anti-vaccination movement can endanger not only the patient but also everyone else susceptible to the disease.
Vaccine controversies have occurred since almost 80 years before the terms vaccine and vaccination were introduced, and continue to this day. Opponents question the effectiveness, safety, and necessity of recommended vaccines. They also argue that mandatory vaccinations violate individual rights to medical decisions and religious principles. These arguments have reduced vaccination rates in certain communities, resulting in outbreaks and deaths from preventable childhood diseases.
According to Forbes, Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a neurological disorder that can develop years after someone has measles, and it is fatal 100 percent of the time. Previously, it was thought rare at about one in 100,000 post-measles cases. But recent research in Germany shows that it occurs in one in 1,700 children infected with measles before they turned five, and a new study finds the incidence can be as many as one in 600 for infants who contract measles before they’re vaccinated.
SSPE also known as Dawson Disease, Dawson encephalitis, and measles encephalitis is a rare and chronic form of progressive brain inflammation caused by a persistent infection with measles virus, which can be a result of a mutation of the virus itself.
Since the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is not good for children below 12 months, the only alternative way is to prevent it and SSPE through vaccinating enough people to prevent the spread of the said disease.
“The answer is good public health. You need to vaccinate everybody and create herd immunity so that you protect those most vulnerable to measles and those at greatest risk of SSPE,” said Dr. James Cherry, a research professor in pediatric infectious diseases at UCLA, who was part of the study team.
The findings were presented during the IDWeek 2016, the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “This is really alarming and shows that vaccination truly is lifesaving,” Cherry said.
Even without SSPE, researchers said, measles can kill or cause encephalitis. It is an inflammation of the brain, caused by infection or an allergic reaction. Now we know what will be the effect of the anti-vaccination movement, let us inform other people regarding this. Let us not spread the news for our next generations' future.