Why measles are not a harmless childhood illness are

Worldwide, an explosive increase in the number of measles cases. Also in the Netherlands this year already more people have the disease than in the whole of 2018. What is going on?

“The measles are the first infectious disease that shows up if the vaccination coverage is not high enough,” explains Hans van Vliet of the netherlands Institute for public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

Vaccinated according to the programme manager of the Rijksvaccinatieprogramma and according to pediatrician Károly Illy, also chairman of the Dutch Association for Paediatrics, the only way to prevent the spread of measles to prevent.

But this is precisely the problem: the vaccination coverage drops worldwide. “The baby’s in 2015 in the Netherlands were born 92,9 percent were vaccinated. In babies from the year of 2005 was 96 percent,” says Van Vliet. This number is stable, but better yet.


Why a high vaccination coverage is essential

‘Victim of parents who child does not have vaccination’

The childhood illness characterized by a rash on the body and high fever. In exceptional cases, an inflammation in the lungs or brain arise. “In some cases, the disease may, therefore, be fatal,” explains Illy.

“If you look at Europe there are this year, dozens of children died of the measles.”

Last year were in Europe sixty to eighty deaths as a result of the measles. “That was not a children who are intentionally not vaccinated were, they were just still too young. They have become victims of parents that their child not be vaccinated.”

  • There were in the first three months of 2019, more than 110,000 besmettingsgevallen of measles. According to the world health organization (WHO) is that an increase of 300 percent compared to the first three months of 2018.
  • For a good protection against measles, mumps, a child must have two vaccines. According to Unicef between 2010 and 2017 worldwide more than twenty million children the first mazelenvaccin not had. The second vaccine has the world but 67 percent of the children received.
  • The mortality rate of measles is from 2000 to 2016, with 84 percent, according to figures from the WHO. But in parts of Africa and Asia, spreading the disease still. In 2016, there were seven million people are infected with measles. 95 percent of the infections occurred in countries with a low income and a poor health care. In the Netherlands this year so far twenty people with measles are infected. In the Netherlands, the disease in 2013, for the last death. The victim was a seventeen-year-old girl from Zeeland.

Why some parents their child is not vaccinated

But why do some parents off of a MMR vaccine (MMR stands for mumps, measles and rubella)?

In some countries, parents can their children not be vaccinated because the vaccines are simply not accessible for them, so reports of the RIVM-program manager Van Vliet, who also says this in the Netherlands is not an issue.

“The second reason is that the trust in vaccines. The third reason is that the disease is not more when very severe is seen.”

And this is completely unjustified, says pediatrician Illy. “It is true that it is a childhood illness, but it is not so that it is a harmless childhood illness. For a minority it can be quite severe gradients and to disability or even death.”

“It is true that it is a childhood illness, but it is not so that it is a harmless childhood illness”
Károly Illy, pediatrician

Many nepnieuws about measles

Afraid of an outbreak, such as where the Netherlands in 2013 suffered, is Illy not now. “Most of the cases of measles in the Netherlands are ‘importgevallen’. Thus, at the time that it is more common in foreign countries, then this also holds for the Netherlands”, says Van Vliet.

“The risk of an outbreak such as in 2013, but it seems to me much more likely that the only about five to ten years from happening again,” said the programme manager of the Rijksvaccinatieprogramma. This is because the people who in 2013 have become ill, are protected.

“Measles can only be transmitted by people who are sick and, therefore, not by people who have the measles or the vaccination have already had. The virus must have sufficient people have to get from the one to the other to jump,” explains Van Vliet.

But pediatricians are according to Illy a bit worried about the number of parents that their children do not leave vaccinated.

“Frankly, we see increasingly that parents in the area their information from the internet. And that is all nepnieuws. That parents get their news from channels with proven false information and let itself be fooled.”

Examples nepnieuws

  • ‘The honor of measles protects against other diseases” This is incorrect, and from recent studies show even that who measles has been a greater risk of other infections. Measles have something to do with your immune system and reduce the number of immune cells
  • ‘Measles are already years not more deadly (large-scale)” This is inaccurate: The deaths in the rest of Europe show that this is not right
  • ‘Of the MMR vaccination, children can autism get” This is incorrect: Andrew Wakefield published in 1998, is a false article about a link between autism and vaccination. The man, whose artsentitel is deprived of, however, is fraud

Childcare centres ban unvaccinated children

The past few weeks was plenty in the news that some childcare centres, non-vaccinated children in the ward. So was there this week Berend Botje, a company with fifty locations that the shelters for 3,100 children. From 1 July, children without MMR vaccination are not welcome.

“As I father of a baby of not yet fourteen months old, then I would very definitely want to know whether the other children at the preschool have been vaccinated. I can so very well imagine of the parents and the childcare centres themselves,” says pediatrician Illy on it.

“But, it’s important: with this system, you run the risk that you have two types of nurseries. The one with vaccinated children and the unvaccinated children. This is a risk because measles than precisely on your diving.”

This was, according to Van Vliet and Illy also in 2013: the outbreak was in the so called Biblebelt, where a large concentration of non-vaccinated children. Thousands of people were infected, a seventeen-year-old girl died from the disease.

On holiday with young children

In the Netherlands, children from fourteen months vaccinated (and again when they are nine years old). However, due to the outbreak of measles in foreign countries, the RIVM for some countries or areas, meanwhile, an early vaccination is recommended.

At the beginning of June, the start of the holiday season, will again be warned. “I would, for example, only to the Ukraine if my child is vaccinated,” says pediatrician Illy. “But the advice applies to still more countries.”

According to Van Vliet is a small chance that measles worldwide, be completely eradicated. Illy let you know that he especially hopes that parents choose the proven safe vaccination.

“And do not you do it for your own child, do it for another child is still too young to be vaccinated. Because children are most at risk.”

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