When Sarah was five-years-old, she contracted measles. She hadn’t been vaccinated as a child because she had eczema (medical advice on this has since changed – consult your doctor).
She fell seriously ill and was left with lasting disabilities including deafness, partial sight and learning difficulties. In this video, her mother Audrey talks about the impact this has had on Sarah and the whole family. Thanks to Rockhopper TV for the original footage.
While most cases of measles do not result in such serious long-term consequences, the disease can be very serious or even fatal. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), measles caused 134,200 deaths in 2015 – about 367 deaths every day or 15 deaths every hour.
The majority of these cases were in countries where access to even basic healthcare, including vaccination, is a challenge. However, several deaths have also been reported in Europe over the past 12 months as outbreaks continue in Romania, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Ukraine.