A child who died of measles in 2024 in Canada: discomfort!

A child who died of measles in 2024 in Canada: discomfort!
A child who died of measles in 2024 in Canada: discomfort!

Last week, a 5-year-old child died of measles in Hamilton. This is the first death linked to this disease since Ontario compiled these statistics in 1989. In fact, for several years, not only did we not report any deaths, but there were almost no cases of measles in Canada. .

For a long time, pediatric and public health experts placed measles on a list of diseases that had been eradicated from the country. Let’s agree on the definition of “eradicated”: the disease still exists on earth, it can accidentally enter our home by a traveler or an unvaccinated newcomer. But it no longer circulates in the country.

This is no longer true. Measles has resurfaced in recent years. Beyond the death in Ontario, four other children had to be hospitalized for serious complications from the same disease. They could have after-effects.

Not vaccinated

Obviously, the deceased child was not vaccinated. Which is increasingly common, especially since the pandemic. The numbers are downright discouraging. Ontario officials say that for Toronto children, vaccination rates have been cut in half during the pandemic.

In Quebec, public health sounded the alarm this spring. Only 7% of our schools have a vaccination rate of 95%, the rate sufficient to confer collective immunity. In Montreal, this rate is only reached in two schools. In Laval and the Laurentides, not a single school has the required level of vaccination.

The director of public health in Montreal admitted that the vaccination rate is even below 50% in certain schools in the metropolis. Moreover, this spring, repeated cases of measles were reported. Since the start of the year, 51 cases of measles have been recorded in Quebec. It’s only a matter of time: we’ll have a dead person here too.

What a step back!

The vaccine was a major advance in medical science, of course. But it’s more than that. The resulting decline in infant mortality and the eradication of several diseases with serious consequences represented true civilizational progress.

Seeing the reappearance of diseases that we had gotten rid of is not only a health issue. This is a decline in civilization, nothing less. Collectively, we should be ashamed of it. How ashamed we must be that this 5 year old boy is dead.

There is a huge cost to allowing serious illnesses to resurface in the population. Rubella, smallpox, poliomyelitis… what other diseases will make a comeback without vaccination?

The pandemic has brought a crazy wave of misinformation. All forms of vaccine have passed through it. There is an urgent educational task to be done.

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