Britain is dealing with a fresh case of meningitis, and what does this have to do with vaccines?

The Parliament returned from its Easter recess on Thursday with some unusually wide-reaching news: a new MP, highly infectious, had to be hospitalized and tested for meningitis on Tuesday. The parliamentary assistant for British…

Britain is dealing with a fresh case of meningitis, and what does this have to do with vaccines?

The Parliament returned from its Easter recess on Thursday with some unusually wide-reaching news: a new MP, highly infectious, had to be hospitalized and tested for meningitis on Tuesday.

The parliamentary assistant for British Conservative Party member for Harrow East Chris Heaton-Harris had just started her day and started moving the books in his office when he felt unwell, the Huffington Post UK reported.

Heaton-Harris noticed his aide had flu-like symptoms, and phoned an ambulance. Paramedics reportedly found heat exhaustion and fever in the aide. He was then taken to the nearby Hornsey Hospital.

For the public, Heaton-Harris’s case begs questions about the validity of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination program as well as about the effectiveness of all those rosy-side steps that aim to protect young children.

Last week, the United Kingdom had reported its first cases of mumps in almost three years, infecting more than 5,000 people. Previously, only measles had been reported this year. Between 1980 and 1990, the country saw 40,700 cases each year.

Then, one week after meningitis emerged in the latest incident, public health authorities declared a national emergency over measles.

Because it can be so easily spread, the disease can be just as severe as mumps, with severe complications such as a neurological disorder.

“In 2010, mumps and meningitis killed a baby of 16 months,” The Guardian reported.

That year, more than 6,500 cases of mumps were reported and more than 60 people were hospitalized. In comparison, Britain’s latest 2-year-old MPA (and her mumps-affected brothers) infected nearly 5,000 people.

However, Heaton-Harris told the British press, “I don’t feel I should be told that my kid is having to get the MMR [measles, mumps and rubella] vaccination,” he said. “I believe the parents ought to make the decision and should have the right to refuse it if they want to.”

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Washington Post.

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