First measles fatality feared as man found dead in Swansea flat

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Coroner investigates whether measles was cause of Gareth Williams's death and health officials call again for parents to immunise children


A 25-year-old man has become the first person with measles to die in the Swansea outbreak as health authorities in Wales try to bring the highly infectious disease under control.

Laboratory tests by Public Health Wales (PHW) confirmed the diagnosis within hours of the man's body being found in a flat in Swansea. He has been named locally as Gareth Williams.

Investigations by the coroner as to whether the measles caused the death are continuing. If it were the reason, it would be the first measles fatality in the UK for five years.

Marion Lyons, PHW's director of health protection, said: "Public Health Wales laboratory tests have confirmed a diagnosis of measles in a 25-year-old male from Swansea who died on Thursday 18 April.

"The tests confirm only that the deceased had measles at the time of his death. Further investigations are being undertaken by the Swansea coroner to establish the cause of death.

"My sympathies are with the family at such a tragic time. Whatever the cause of death in this case, we should not be surprised if, as the outbreak grows, we start to see deaths in Wales."

Written By: James Meikle
continue to source article at guardian.co.uk

9 COMMENTS

  1. Since immunisation is not just for the benefit of the person being immunised, you could justify making it mandatory. We do forcefully confine people with quarantine. It might be politically difficult.

    Perhaps by making it difficult to avoid immunisation — pay a fine, fill in many forms, have to wear a hazmat suit 24-7.. :-)

    • In reply to #2 by Roedy:

      Here in Australia you miss out on a government handout if you do not get immunized. However, you can still get the money if you have AIDS, leukemia or you get a note from your GP.

    • In reply to #2 by Roedy:

      Since immunisation is not just for the benefit of the person being immunised, you could justify making it mandatory. We do forcefully confine people with quarantine. It might be politically difficult.

      Perhaps by making it difficult to avoid immunisation — pay a fine, fill in many forms, have to wear a hazmat suit 24-7.. :-)

      utterly agree

      the type of person who responds to a news scare with indignant new age absolutism needs educating. it’s bad enough that adults with an agenda and lack of education have the right to abuse their children by imposing their own fucked up values but to pose health risk to the community is unacceptable.

      let them spend as much as they like dangling crystals and dropping shaky water on them, when it comes to the health of the nation, which is maintainded by a publicly funded institution giving free medicatoin to all who need it, these people need to be told they have no choice and if they don’t like go complain to google

  2. As the cohort of children who were not given the MMR vaccine because of the scare caused by Andrew Wakefield’s now-discredited theory about autism grow older, the chances of further large outbreaks increase.

    Good Guy Guardian – No false balance.

    There is a word for people who are “balanced” with the truth.

    • Except that it was never a theory in the first place….

      In reply to #4 by Jono4174:

      As the cohort of children who were not given the MMR vaccine because of the scare caused by Andrew Wakefield’s now-discredited theory about autism grow older, the chances of further large outbreaks increase.

      Good Guy Guardian – No false balance.

      There is a word for people who are “balanced” with the truth.

    • In reply to #4 by Jono4174:

      As the cohort of children who were not given the MMR vaccine because of the scare caused by Andrew Wakefield’s now-discredited theory about autism grow older, the chances of further large outbreaks increase.

      Good Guy Guardian – No false balance.

      There is a word for people who are “balanced” with the truth.

      Look at the letters in response to the original article. One Guardian reader makes a really stupid comment in the name of “freedom”. Did he perhaps pick it up in mistake for the Daily Mail? (or the Express or the Telegraph).

      • In reply to #8 by CEVA34:

        Look at the letters in response to the original article. One Guardian reader makes a really stupid comment in the name of “freedom”. Did he perhaps pick it up in mistake for the Daily Mail? (or the Express or the Telegraph).

        I was about to agree, in principle, with the ‘freedom’ part (as I optimistically feel anybody can be talked round eventually) but then they start spouting off about how correcting peoples’ foolishness is capitalist authoritarianism. They then go on to ask why Glaxo, Sanofi et al. don’t cover the cost of going door-to-door so that the unimmunised don’t infect each other whilst queuing up. Do they have any idea what it would take to document, supply and visit each person who could otherwise just show up (looking hopefully sheepish) at the catch-up clinic? If the vast majority had had the MMR in the first place, the question wouldn’t even need to be asked…

  3. Autism has been considered to have genetic causes (complex). The diagnostic criteria require a diagnosis to be made in the first three years. The MMR first dose is given between 12 and 15 months. For the parent whose child displays autism the condition would become increasingly apparent after the first vaccination so they fall for the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Its an easy cop out to say “your vaccine caused this” rather than accept the fact that you own genetic factors are indicative.

    If you are susceptible to logical fallacies then its possible that cure by shaky woo water and crystal energy is increasingly attractive.

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