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Letters  

Measles reports overblown

The media hype about the so-called "measles outbreak" has been overblown.

In 2018, there were 29 cases of measles in Canada. In 2017, there were 45. Both years, no known deaths. 

In 2016, there were 11 reported cases – five of those cases were hospitalized. None of those cases died from the measles.

In 2015, there were 196 cases of reported measles in Canada, about 11 per cent of those cases were hospitalized. Again, no reported deaths. 

The data provides strong evidence that measles elimination has been maintained. Canada obtained the status (as defined by the Pan American Health Organization) as having eliminated measles back in the early 1990s.

The media and health authorities are blowing these recent cases out of proportion. It's part of their overall scare tactic strategy to manipulate parents into vaccinating their children.

People are more likely to make an emotional decision when in fear mode than to look at the plain and simple facts about the likelihood of their child actually contracting the disease, let alone being hospitalized for it or dying from it. 

If a child is properly nourished and is healthy, the measles is all but a mild rash and fever.

Can an individual die from the measles? Yes, that is possible, but the likelihood of that happening is basically zero in Canada because most children are nourished, have clean water to drink and a warm home to recover in as well as access to medical care if it gets complicated.

Children who die from this disease or experience more serious complications are typically malnourished, live in an undeveloped country and don't have access to proper medical care. 

To put this all into perspective, individuals are about 1,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than to even contract the measles. In 2016, the number of fatalities per 100,000 population from a motor vehicle accident was 5.2. In 2016, the number of motor vehicle fatalities in Canada was 1,898. 

Are parents going to stop driving their children in cars then? No. Yet, the risk of injury and/or death is far greater than that of even contracting the measles.

There are far greater population health issues (e.g. juvenile diabetes and obesity) at hand that require more serious attention in Canada, impact way more lives and cost the health care system way more money. 

If the government attempts to make vaccinations mandatory (which goes against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, not to mention the Canadian Medical Association's own code of ethics), then what's next?

I find it ironic that "pro-vaxxers" condemn "anti-vaxxers" and try to publicly shame them, but what they fail to understand is that most "anti vaxxers" are really pro-choice and want to make vaccinations safer for all and want to have some type of injury compensation fund in place in Canada (like they do in the U.S.).

If we allowed mandatory vaccinations to happen, then we are basically giving the government permission over what we put into and do with our own bodies. I bet if the government tried to legislate parents to feed their children only healthy foods (fruit, vegetables, etc) and did not allow parents to feed the crappy, unhealthy processed, sugary foods they normally do, parents would be up in arms.

Yet, government regulations on sugar content in foods, eliminating trans-fats, etc. would have a larger impact on the overall health of our population than forcing vaccinations on children. 

Jack Greene, Kelowna



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