Thursday, January 28, 2010

GMC ruling on Andrew Wakefield in and a reminder why MMR is important

The General Medical Council (GMC) announced its ruling (ETA link, hat tip to Kev) on the "Fitness to Practise" case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield today. They state that Wakefield "failed in his duties as a responsible consultant" and showed a "callous disregard" for the suffering of children involved in his research (as quoted from The Guardian). Undoubtedly, we will see more analyses and interpretations of this ruling in the days to come, so I wanted to take the opportunity to remind readers why it is important that children do not get measles:

In 2006, there was a measles outbreak in Nordrhein Westfalen, with a total of 1700 reported cases. Two toddlers died of encephalitis/MIBE at the time. Last year, a 4 year old girl, Michaela, who had caught measles at the age of 4 months in that outbreak, came down with SSPE. She has been in a wake coma since the Summer and no one knows how long it will be until she dies. The other two SSPE victims we blogged about have been in this state since 2005/6.

1700 cases, 3 dead/dying children...

Michaela in December 2009 (source: Bild Zeitung)