It is very rare that the NHS has anything to celebrate but a barely reported item in the national media recently was left late into their bulletins to be barely mentioned. Now this is a story that has been a long time coming and reminds the more senior in the team at ND Central of events over the past 30 + years here in the land of socialized, and increasing ill informed media dictated, medicine. We have posted on this before.
In 1977 the last natural case of smallpox occurred in Somalia following a worldwide immunization and public health campaign. Of course the NHS managed to do better and in 1978 there were 2 cases in the UK in Birmingham one of which was fatal due to stocks held in laboratories there for research purposes (allegedly) which are now only meant to be held in two labs in the world one in the USA and the other in Russia. We believe that the NHS should be proud of these events together with other previous successes in Birmingham like British Leyland rather than regard them as an international embarrassment.
This eradication was possible as the disease only occurred in humans and has no other vectors so if you have sufficient herd immunity then the virus cannot survive as in order to do so it has to find another uninfected individual in order to replicate. This was achieved principally by immunization and isolation of active cases.
In lectures at grunt school all those years ago we were told of this success and that other diseases could be eliminated the ones in our minds are measles but polio is another. If you achieve 95% of the population immunized the virus cannot propagate and so dies ultimately to extinction (unless retained for “research” purposes).
The MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) programme of immunization in the UK was introduced in 1988 (we still have the original propaganda pack which was worthless to us as we had survived all 3 diseases as children) and would have been a potential success in the 1990s had not a certain irritant in the ointment whom we shall refer to only as “Andrew” put his big foot in it by a well-known scientific method called panic based on some genuine research and observations but not truth.
So as the Party conference season was underway when we penned this piece with talks of re nationalization returning to the agenda the NHS like the then nationalized British Rail in the 1970s which ran on the adage “better late than never” has finally pulled into the station called “elimination” of measles some 20 years later than it should ever have been.
Of course like the British Rail of the 1970s no NHS passengers will have been inconvenienced or harmed as a result and if you have never seen a case of measles (last one seen by any of the team was in the early 1990s) or its consequences sub-acute sclerosing pan-encephalitis (SSPE) (one only seen) then you will believe the sceptics about MMR immunization versus the grunts on the ground.
Now “elimination” does not mean no measles at all in the UK and as you can see from these figures. It means that there are not enough new cases to ensure that with adequate, and continuing, herd immunity the virus cannot continue to survive and could ultimately be eliminated from the world – like smallpox unless held in labs but with DNA technology this may not be strictly necessary.
So as the old expression goes the price of freedom is eternal vigilance so please dear reader do not think that measles is so longer here and not have your child or grandchild, great grandchild or great great grandchild vaccinated.
Sanitation and vaccination are modern day successes that have saved more lives than antibiotics and yet these relatively simple changes can and could save millions, and improve millions more lives and yet idiots political, religious and we at ND Central are ashamed to say some medical think otherwise despite the science and continue to spout false science across the world for their own perverted and retarded reasons (self-centered gains at the expense of others’ suffering).
The unsung heroes of this NHS statistical success will be mostly practice nurses and health visitors working in mainly GP practices and child health clinics over the decades. We have to give credit to our Public Health colleagues for organizing this but they did not do the delivery over the many years.
In other words primary care who for years, nay decades, have been promoting MMR immunization as something useful and having to counter the media machine of ill informed, unscientific non facts on a daily, yearly and decade by decade basis to new Mums and Dads and the NHS will not be thanking these dedicated professionals for what they have achieved to date but we will.
However they will need to continue to promote it for years to come until the NHS and the rest of the world catches up with America and sees see their 120 cases in a population of 320 million (2016) versus the UK 547 cases in a population of 65.6 million (2016).
The Party line is here.
This is but a limited victory for GPs and for their staff for their success for it will still only take one idiot of a teacher to look at a well child with a rash and to declare it to be measles and then report via a protocol to a school nurse in an office not based in any school neither of whom will have seen a case of real measles to generate panic.
And so the part time office based school nurse issues leaflets declaring that measles is in de house and prints off loads of A4 pieces of paper about measles to hand out at school gates to parents and so justifies their NHS productivity = I printed off 14000 letters this afternoon and my arse never left this chair true NHS nurse efficiency for their annual assessment of retardation called appraisal. No doubt embellished by a personal statement and reflection that their prompt action prevented a major measles epidemic.
The result? No real cases of measles but as many general practices know they are suddenly inundated by the worried thick who have heard on social media that someone 15 times removed from them in terms of schools has a rash and it is MEASLES the school nurse SAYS SO on this piece of paper. Patient then spends 2 minutes accessing idiotphone and finding photo from a friend’s phone 15 times removed from the original piece of paper to show their GP in a 10 minute consultation while Johnny or Joanna Scrot trashes the toys with no rash visible.
Measles a disease that it is completely possible to eliminate it but for the thick.
Praise be to the Party for achieving something useful using so many unsung heroes, not rewarding any of them in anyway and allowing the thick continued credence and publicity of their own retarded theories for decades despite increasing regulation of professionals but never the media.
Measles and polio remain diseases that are completely eliminable from the world but for the thick and the nutters. Praise be for religion and ignorance. 2 of the greatest inhibiters of improving human healthcare on the planet and all still totally legal.