Sunday, August 24, 2008

It was bound to happen - the return of childhood diseases

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate against illnesses like mumps, measles and so on. The new movement - not to vaccinate - has brought childhood illnesses to a full circle.

According to a press release from the Centers of Disease Control in the United States, "More measles cases have been reported in the United States since Jan. 1, 2008 than during the same period in any year since 1996." Interestingly, the press release goes on to say: "Measles is consistently one of the first diseases to reappear when immunization coverage rates fall. Increases in the proportion of the population declining vaccination for themselves or their children might lead to large-scale outbreaks in the U.S. Currently, Israel and a number of countries in Europe -- including Switzerland, Austria, Italy, United Kingdom -- are reporting sizeable measles outbreaks among populations refusing vaccination."

What can happen if you get measles? Measles can result in pneumonia, encaphalitis (swelling/inflammation of the brain), middle ear infections, convulsions, and premature delivery and miscarriages in pregnant women.

Complications of German Measles (or rubella) occur if a pregnant woman hasn't had them and is exposed to the virus. As the children of today grow up without vaccinations, the girls, who will become women and become pregnant, will be at greatest risk. In fact, we may see a come-back of the severe problems that babies are born with if their mother contracts German measles during pregnancy. These problems are physical and/or mental retardation, heart defects, eye malformations, liver and spleen problems, issues with bone marrow, and deafness.

Complications of Mumps are potentially very serious. They include inflammation of the testicles (called orchitis), which and render the male sterile; pancreatitis, which is the swelling/inflammation of the pancreas; encephalitis, swelling/inflammation of the brain; meningitis, infection and inflammation of the fluid and membranes in the spinal cord and brain; hearing loss; and miscarriage in pregnant women.

Is it really worth the risk?

Today at Help My Hurt:

Watch it if you’re encouraging cheerleading as an activity
Alexander technique offers long-term relief for back pain
Treating cancer pain in children
Palliative care: “Every human being should be entitled to relief from pain”

Today at Womb Within:

Twins - great source for researchers
Videos about postpartum depression
Pregnant stepmothers
Pregnant with multiples - surviving bedrest

News for Today:

FDA Investigates Possible Vytorin-Cancer Link
Death of B.C. man linked to listeria outbreak
Warning issued on ephedrine, kava kava products
Maple Leaf confirmed source of deadly Canada meat

1 comment:

Merry said...

This really irks me. Parents want to do the right thing, and I can understand wanting to avoid autism, but so many children used to not make it through childhood simply because of these infections. I think we've become complacent about all the wonderful things antibiotics can do.