With the anti-vaccination movement recently gaining an alarming amount of popularity in Malaysia, the Ministry of Health revealed plans to make vaccinations compulsory for all children. While some still don’t understand the importance of vaccines, this recent case sheds light on just how much damage avoiding vaccines can do.
One recent case involves the Central American nation of Costa Rica, which just recorded its first measles case in five years after a French family travelled to the country with their unvaccinated 5-year-old child.
According to the Telegraph, the boy was on holiday with his parents when he fell sick. His 30-year-old mother is vaccinated while his 35-year-old father is not up to date with his vaccinations.
The parents reportedly told a local doctor in Costa Rica that other children at their son’s school had contracted measles, and a spokeswoman for the French health ministry confirmed the boy was diagnosed with the highly contagious virus.
According to the spokeswoman, the current French government only recently made the measles vaccine compulsory for those born on or after 1st January 2018, so the boy was not affected by this new requirement.
Meanwhile, Costa Rican health authorities are currently investigating those who may have come into contact with the infected boy and have found 26 people who were known to have been in contact with him so far. All of them have reportedly been vaccinated. In a statement addressing this issue, the country’s health ministry said,
“Our country enjoys very good vaccination coverage in general. However, in order to avoid particular cases and their possible complications, it is important that those in charge of minors ensure that children have the complete vaccination scheme.”
Costa Rica has reportedly not had a domestic measles case since 2006, while its last recorded case was brought in from another country in 2014.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that can be fatal for small children and symptoms appear between 10 and 14 days after contraction. This virus can be transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of those infected.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the symptoms of this virus include;
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Bloodshot eyes
- Tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth
- A rash starting on the face and upper neck can appear several days later. This rash will then spread downwards gradually.
The WHO also pointed out that while a safe and effective vaccine is readily available, measles still remains a significant cause of death among children globally.
Just last month, the WHO noted that “vaccine hesitancy” was listed among the top 10 most serious threats to human health in 2019. An excerpt from their report on this reads,
“Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2 to 3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.”
Let’s hope that this young boy recovers from this dangerous virus. We hope this also helps skeptics understand the damage avoiding vaccinations can inflict.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know in the comments below.
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