Mickey Mouse and Measles
With the happiest place on earth now also a potentially risky place for kids due to a measles outbreaks, parents are now weighing the risks of whether or not to have their child vaccinated.
As a mom, I figured that the risks of not having my child vaccinated OUTWEIGHED the potential risks associated with vaccines. After all, I was vaccinated as a child and I am fine.
I also have a nephew who suffered a severe case of measles when he was only three because he caught the virus when he went to the E.R. of a children’s hospital to get a tetanus shot.
While we don’t have a measles outbreak, let’s protect our children.
Here’s an interesting article on a letter written by children’s book author, Roald Dahl, who lost his daughter to measles.
Dahl lost his daughter Olivia to the measles in 1962. She was just 7 years old. Heartbreakingly, the vaccine against this potentially deadly illness was introduced the following year.
In 1988, two years before the prolific writer of fantastical tales like “James and Giant Peach” died, he wrote a public letter urging parents to vaccinate their kids.
First, Dahl recounted Olivia’s illness, saying he wasn’t particularly alarmed, since many children came down with the illness in the 1960s.
“Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together, and she couldn’t do anything,” Dahl wrote.
When he asked Olivia how she was feeling, she responded, “I feel all sleepy.” Dahl says that within an hour, his beloved daughter was unconscious, and just 12 hours later, she had died.
Her illness “had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her. That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction…as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her,” the letter reads.
The letter continues, “On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable…vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.”