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Measles: Samoa declares emergency as cases continue to spike worldwide

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6767 (Published 29 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6767

Rapid Response:

Re: Measles: Samoa declares emergency as cases continue to spike worldwide

JK Anand raises some pertinent questions [1]. I have already brought to attention in these columns the issue of whether the measles vaccine is causing new strains to develop which are less susceptible to it [2,3]. Another problem might if the strain raging in Samoa was the vaccine strain itself [4,5], but so far nothing has been divulged by the authorities about this matter, or certainly there is no information in this report [6].

While news reports of measles outbreaks can be very alarming it is often difficult to assess their real significance [7-11].

[1] JK Anand, 'Re: Measles: Samoa declares emergency', 30 November 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6767/rr

[2] John Stone, 'Propaganda should not be allowed to overwhelm policy', 23 October 2019,https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l5995/rr-5

[3] Melenotte C, Zandotti C, Gautret P, Parola P, Raoult D., 'Measles: is a new vaccine approach needed?', Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Oct;18(10):1060-1061. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30543-7.

[4] Meryl J Nass, 'Re: US county bars unvaccinated children from public spaces amid measles emergency', 30 March 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1481/rr-1

[5] Felicia Roy, Lillian Mendoza, Joanne Hiebert, Rebecca J. McNall, Bettina Bankamp, Sarah Connolly, Amy Lüdde, Nicole Friedrich, Annette Mankertz, Paul A. Rota, Alberto Severini, 'Rapid Identification of Measles Virus Vaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR', Journal of Clinical Microbiolgy 2017, https://jcm.asm.org/content/55/3/735

[6] Owen Dyer, 'Measles: Samoa declares emergency as cases continue to spike worldwide',
BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6767 (Published 29 November 2019)

[7] John Stone, 'Re: MMR, measles, and the South Wales Evening Post', 4 May 2013, https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f2598/rr/644022

[8] John Stone, 'Information and Misinformation: the Global Health Security Agenda', 5 March 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l981/rr

[9] John Stone, 'Re Measles cases rise by 300% globally in the first few months of 2019 - how long is a piece of string' 17 April 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1810/rr

[10] John Stone, 'Re Measles cases rise by 300% globally in the first few months of 2019, 23 April 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1810/rr-3

[11] John Stone, 'Re: Philippines measles outbreak is deadliest yet as vaccine scepticism spurs disease comeback',26 February 2019, https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l739/rr-0

Competing interests: AgeofAutism.com, an on-line daily journal, concerns itself with the potential environmental sources for the proliferation of autism, neurological impairment, immune dysfunction and chronic disease. I receive no payment as UK Editor

01 December 2019
John Stone
UK Editor
AgeofAutism.com
London N22