Natural selection, again

By February 6, 2024Health, Science, Society

I had measles as a kid, some time in the 1960s. I can still remember spending days lying on the lounge in a darkened room. I did not need to go to hospital, and I cannot remember how ill I was, and that is probably a good thing. Having measles was almost a rite of passage for a kid in those days. At about the same time, a vaccine was developed for the virus, and subsequently the disease largely disappeared from view.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that Europe is experiencing an alarming rise in measles cases. 941 cases were reported in all of 2022, and between January and October of 2023, over 30,000 cases were reported. The increase in cases has accelerated in recent months, and this trend is expected to continue if urgent measures are not taken across the region to prevent further spread. Of those 30,000 cases, 21,000 were hospitalised and 5 people died. Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe has said. “Vaccination is the only way to protect children from this potentially dangerous disease. Urgent vaccination efforts are needed to halt transmission and prevent further spread. It is vital that all countries are prepared to rapidly detect and timely respond to measles outbreaks, which could endanger progress towards measles elimination”1.

In the UK, the Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has logged over 300 cases since October 1, 2023, despite having eliminated the disease in 20172.

Why is this happening now? Researchers put it down to low uptake of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. In the UK at present, about 85% of children in England have received two MMR vaccine doses by five years old, according to data from the National Health Service (NHS). This is below the vaccination rate of at least 95% needed to achieve ‘herd immunity’, which substantially reduces disease spread. Vaccination coverage for children under the age of 5 is the lowest it has been in the past 10 years2.

This decrease in vaccination rates largely seems to be because of the antivaccination activists (antivaxxers), some of whom, stupidly, believe that vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases they vaccinate against. Indeed, I have had a couple of antivaxxers suggest to me that the Covid-19 vaccines kill more people than the disease. This is a lie as any reading of the data will show. One antivaxxer also told me that the vaccines contain a Bill Gates manufactured chip with which the government wants to control the populace. This is simply ludicrous, as the needles delivering the dose were so fine such that I could barely feel them puncture the skin. Another of these vegetables told me that the mRNA vaccines would change your DNA. This is also a lie, and simply shows how ignorant these antivaxxers are. As one online wag stated: “Those who are stupid enough to think that their genetic makeup will be altered by Covid-19 vaccines should welcome the opportunity”. Touché.

Of those children contracting the disease, it is likely that about 20% will be hospitalised, and 5% will develop pneumonia, which is the most common cause of measles deaths in young children. About 0.1% of those contracting measles will develop encephalitis which may leave the child deaf or with an intellectual disability. However, perhaps the most insidious complication is that of Subacute Sclerosing Pan-Encephalitis (SSPE). It generally develops 7 to 10 years after a person contracts measles, even though they seem to have completely recovered from the disease years before. About 1 in every 10,000 people will develop SSPE, and that is likely higher in people who get measles before the age of two3.

SSPE is a progressive, disabling, and deadly brain disorder. Symptoms of SSPE occur in four stages. With each stage, the symptoms are worse than the stage before. The stages are:

Stage I. There may be personality changes, mood swings, or depression. Fever and headache may also be present. This stage may last up to 6 months.

Stage II. There may be uncontrolled movement, including jerking and muscle spasms. Other symptoms that may occur in this stage are loss of vision, dementia and seizures.

Stage III. Jerking movements are replaced by writhing (twisting) movements and rigidity. Death may occur from complications.

Stage IV. Areas of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure are damaged. This leads to coma and then death.

SSPE is always fatal. People with this disease die 1 to 3 years after diagnosis4.

The only known method of prevention of SSPE is vaccination against measles. And yet the antivaxxers ‘believe’ that vaccinations are dangerous. The only thing that is dangerous is the stupidity of antivaxxers, and the gullibility of the people who believe them. Some of them will pay a horrible price for this stupidity either by succumbing to SSPE, or watching their children die from it.




  • Jim says:

    Unfortunately there is nothing new in parents refusing to have their kids vaccinated, although it has got a lot worse recently with the scare campaigns on social media. When we went to primary school in the outer Melbourne suburbs in the early 1950s, the vaccinations were done at school and you had to take home a consent form for our parents to sign and there were always one or two kids whose parents would not sign–not sure why. In those days the vaccinations were for things like Diphtheria–my brother and I both got measles, rubella and chicken pox which was par for the course in those days. The really scary disease at the time was polio and I can still remember in 1956 lining up in first year high school with the whole class of 55 to receive our jabs in the arm.. The dux of the school from the previous year had recently died of polio. Of course, in those days you used to see the occasional kid walking around with calipers–it must have been a worry for all of the parents

    • admin says:

      I knew a couple of blokes older than me at school who had had polio. I can vaguely remember lining up for the polio vaccine. Measles was fairly common, chicken pox very common, and mumps less so. My old man had diphtheria back in the 1930s; it almost killed him and you could still see his tracheotomy scar. Anybody who is an antivaxxer is as thick as pigshit.

  • JON says:

    I see where researchers think they might have found an mRNA breakthrough in cancer therapy for some ‘hard’ cancers, to follow on from promising mRNA pancreatic cancer treatments (very early stages of testing). Any success at all wil be welcomed by most thinking people on the planet but not the anti-vax/anti-mRNA fringe dwellers who reared their ugly heads (that saying needs tp be updated to ignorant heads to reflect modern times) during the height of the covid pandemic.

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