I present the heartbreaking data coming in from Bangladesh. There has been an extensive outbreak in a remote village, where 88 children were infected with measles. Of those, 53 required hospitalization and nine children have died. The outbreak started just a week ago.
For the doubters: yes, death is much higher in underdeveloped countries. This is thought to be primarily due to malnutrition. Also, death would have probably been prevented if proper hospitalization had occurred earlier. But regardless, measles is not a “this will strengthen my child’s immune system” infection. It is a “this could kill my child” infection. Hospitalization is routine even in developed countries, where pneumonia and encephalitis are sequelae to the infection.
None of the children in the village were vaccinated. Actually, no one in the village was vaccinated due to oversight on the part of the government. The local council is stating that no more infections will happen, because they are “starting an immunization program now”. But measles is one of the most infectious viruses known. Infectious virus can remain hanging in the air as particles (called droplet nuclei) for hours. There are 85 families in this village and anyone who has NOT been vaccinated will probably be dealing with this infection. Without vaccine, there is no treatment but supportive care to stop a measles infection. Antibiotics will not help. There is no antiviral drugs to help. There is nothing to do but watch your child go through the pain and the agony of a preventable (possibly lethal) infection.
These horrific outcomes do not have to happen. Vaccinate your children now.