Small sting, big help

Small sting, big help

In 2013, more than eight times as many measles cases were reported in bavaria as in the previous year. Also in the district of kitzingen two cases have already been detected since the beginning of april. Although a vaccine against measles has been available for 40 years, the disease has not yet been fully contained.

Contrary to earlier assumptions, on average one in 1000 measles cases in germany is fatal. This is also confirmed by the latest research by the university of wurzburg and the bavarian state office for health and food safety. The risk of fatal complications following infection is particularly high among young children. In contrast, the possible side effects of vaccination are negligible. "There may be isolated cases of rash or fever, but I have not experienced anything worse", says dr. Anna burcky, doctor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine in ochsenfurt, germany.
Dr. Benedikt weibbrich, a researcher at the institute of virology and immunobiology at the university of wurzburg, is working intensively on the topic of late complications of measles infections. "Since only a few cases of measles still occur, people are often no longer aware of the dangers of the disease," says marie-luise tisch, he regrets.

In germany, children are vaccinated before the age of two. If this vaccination is not given, there is a risk that it will never be given again. In any case, there are no corresponding automatic procedures. There is no compulsory vaccination in germany, and it would be difficult to enforce it. Weibbrich therefore considers it necessary that vaccination is not only discussed in infancy. Also later this topic must be observed prasent.

Wrong study
There are several reasons why children in bavaria are not vaccinated against measles. Some parents deliberately do not vaccinate their children. Measles is often wrongly dismissed as a harmless childhood disease, or the fear of the side effects of the vaccination is greater than that of the actual disease.

A british study that sought to prove an alleged link between the vaccine and autism added to the fears. Although the data used in the study turned out to be wrong, parents searching for information on the internet still stumbled upon these results. Such false information also leads some parents to decide against vaccination. Vaccination is recommended by the standing commission on vaccination.

The problem is well known in the kindergarten in kitzingen. A control of the vaccination passports is usual there. Parents whose children have not been vaccinated are then informed about the vaccination. However, unvaccinated children have so far been the exception in the city's kindergartens. At the alemannenstrabe kindergarten, for example, information materials and a vaccination calendar are available to parents. "I know from my own experience that measles is a dangerous disease", says marie-luise tischler-nelson, director of the kindergarten. She is therefore particularly concerned that parents are well informed.

The kitzingen health office also conducts annual vaccination book checks in the 6th grades at the beginning of the school year, in addition to the school entrance examination, during which vaccination records are checked. Classes by. However, they are voluntary. The kitzingen health department has been able to establish a good vaccination rate for the district of kitzingen in recent years.

However, a renewed increase in the vaccination rate in germany is essential if the disease is to be eradicated in the near future. Especially infants under eleven months of age, for whom vaccination is not possible, and children who were not allowed to be vaccinated for various reasons, could be protected against illness in this way. Also dr. Anna burcky believes vaccination is important. "If a child is not vaccinated, this is also a danger for other children". However, the decision for or against a vaccination still lies with the parents. Ilka mann

in 2011, bavarian hospitals treated 116 patients with measles, 50.6 percent more than in 2010. As the bayerischelandesamt fur statistik und datenverarbeitung (bavarian office of statistics and data processing) further reports, most treatment cases were among 15- to under-20-year-olds.

Almost 100 percent in 2011, 436 cases of measles were reported to the bavarian state office for health and food safety in bavaria in accordance with the infection protection act. This was 99.1 percent more than in the previous year (2010: 219). This means that inpatient hospital treatment was necessary for just over a quarter of the cases of measles reported under the infection protection act in 2011.