Parents using social media to expose their children to measles – The Post

Parents using social media to expose their children to measles

Doctors warn against contracting the illness naturally

Measles is not to be trifled with, expert says (photo: iStock)
April 8th, 2015 3:11 pm| by Christian W
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As the measles for children debate continues to rage, some parents are throwing more fuel on the heated discussions by using Facebook to expose their children to contagious diseases.

According to the magazine Vores Børn, parents are – via closed groups on Facebook – trying to get into contact with parents of children who have been infected with illnesses such as measles and chickenpox. That way, the parents can avoid giving their children the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. But that could be dangerous, experts maintain.

“It’s a really bad idea because the current MMR vaccine is designed to give the recipient as mild a form of the illness as possible while still giving them immunity to illnesses like measles,” Allan Randrup Thomsen, a researcher of viral infections at the University of Copenhagen, told DR Nyheder.

“They have cultivated the virus for many months in order to weaken the natural illness. The whole concept with the vaccine is that the illness becomes less dangerous.”

READ MORE: Health minister refuses to make measles vaccine mandatory

Serious illness
Thomsen went on to warn that measles was a serious illness not to be taken lightly. Measles can at worst lead to permanent disability and death.

It is estimated that about 87 percent of all children in Denmark have been given the MMR vaccines 1 and 2.

According to the State Serum Institute, at least 95 percent of the children must be vaccinated against measles in order to completely eliminate the risk of a large epidemic taking place.