Monday, August 5, 2013

Measles in the Netherlands: I'll call it

I was tempted last week, when the measles cases in the Dutch Bible Belt topped 600, but then I didn't. It suddenly appeared morbid, petty and like I wanted it to happen. By last Thursday, 780 measles cases had been reported in the current outbreak. So I'll do it.

There'll be a death. Soon.

In Europe, for about every 1000 reported measles cases, there is one death. The latest outbreak was in Wales, it ended last month with 1219 cases and one death, Gareth Colfer-Williams, who died of giant cell pneumonia, a specific complication of measles. But that particular area in the Netherlands has had its own outbreak in 1999/2000, totalling 3292 cases, over 150 hospitalisations and 3 deaths. It is eerie how this pans out to 1 in 1000. As a side note, 94% of patients were totally unvaccinated and only 1 of the 3292 had had 2xMMR. In fact, the vaccine works so well, that unvaccinated individuals were 224 times more likely to acquire measles than were the vaccinated. But I am getting side tracked. I called it. I hope I am wrong.

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