Watch out: Update on measles

In a recent post, I discussed the measles outbreak in Europe, and as was entirely predictable, the news just keeps getting worse.

WHO has just updated data that showed that there have now been 35 deaths from measles in Europe in the current outbreak (probably more if you consider that it’s likely that in adults at least, one or two or maybe more deaths due to measles have been attributed to other causes).

Most sadly, that list now includes the death of a 6-year-old in Italy, where because a great many parents do not believe in vaccination against measles, “herd immunity” (having enough people in the European “herd” immunized so that those with inadequate immunization are still somewhat protected) has dropped to dangerous levels.

This boy apparently had leukemia, which means that like thousands of other kids, he has to rely on “herd immunity” in the community for full protection against many infectious illnesses.

He didn’t get that benefit.

This situation is going to get worse for sure because of the huge number of un-vaccinated and under-vaccinated European kids and young adults, so if you’re planning a trip to Europe, make sure that everyone in your travelling party is fully vaccinated or previously immune.