Diphtheria Case Confirmed in Spain

4 min read
Diphtheria Case Confirmed in Spain

For the first time in almost 30 years a case of a 6-year-old boy having Diphtheria has been confirmed in Spain, and within 6 days another 8 cases in children directly affected have been swiftly documented also.

The child in question was not immunised at the wishes of his parents. Said parents are now said to be grief-stricken with guilt, releasing a statement to the Spanish media that they now “feel terrible” for making the choice not to vaccinate.

Diphtheria Case Confirmed in Spain | Stay at Home Mum

9 Children Now Lay in Hospital

Yet as 9 children now lay in hospital being treated for the otherwise preventable disease, feelings of regret do little to increase their chances of recovery. Diphtheria is a disease that has very serious consequences. The rate of fatalities in cases of diphtheria is 1 in 10, however it is suggested that the risk of death increases to a staggering 1 in 5 for children under 5 years and adults over 40 years. With 9 children in Spain now confirmed cases the harsh reality of the impact of this one unvaccinated child is that at least one of these nine young lives is highly likely to end. At least one child is likely to die.

The parents stated they were “uninformed” of the risks they were posing – both for their own children, and others in the community. On the contrary: the parents were not “uninformed”. They were “misinformed”. They were parents who chose not to vaccinate based on information they’d accepted from Anti-Vaccination Movements. The community they are a part of was a region renowned for parents choosing not to vaccinate for ideological reasons; choosing “alternative medicines” because of their concerns about side effects of vaccines as purported by the Anti-vaccination Groups.

Yet as Australian Performer Tim Minchin so rightly surmises: “(Alternative medicine) has either not been proved to work, or been proved not to work. Do you know what they call “alternative medicine” that does work? Medicine!” It’s undeniable: no natural remedy, or homoeopathy, or perfectly nutritious diet was going to prevent this child from contracting the vaccine-preventable disease.

If only they had vaccinated…

Diphtheria Case Confirmed in Spain | Stay at Home MumIn response to the parents revealing their choices were made from the advice and notions claimed by Anti-Vaccination Movements, the Secretary of Public Health in Catalonia, Antoni Mateu,  has spoken out strongly against these movements, proclaiming that he will strive to pursue the responsible groups in an effort to cease their ability to “spread lies and cause confusion”.

“There is beginning to be dangerous discourse against vaccination that is not supported by scientific evidence…it is irresponsible not to vaccinate” stated Spain’s Health Minister Alfonso Alonso, speaking of the Anti-Vaccination Movement groups. The parents, in regards to the reverence they once held for these groups, proclaimed they are now “destroyed and feel cheated”.

The endangerment of the lives of others when choosing not to vaccinate was highly unlikely to have ever occurred to these parents until their 6-year-old made history in Spain this week. Prior to his contracting the disease they’d have been ignorant to the risk they were placing to the lives of those around them, jaded by the claims made by the Anti-Vaccination Movements. Only time will tell as they await outcomes: whether the children make a full recovery, if any are left debilitated for a lifetime, or even if any reach an untimely demise, to feel the full force of their actions (or rather inactions) and possibly fathom just how perilous their choice not to vaccinate actually was.

What is Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a serious is a very serious and deadly communicable bacterial disease, it causes severe inflammation of the nose, throat and windpipe. The bacteria that is produced from the toxin grows an abnormal membrane in the throat, and that can lead to suffocation.

If only they had vaccinated…

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Emma Boyce

Emma Boyce is a Coffee-chugging/chocolate-smuggling/poker-playing fandom mama with a big thing for Science-y things, space stuff, etymology, trivia an...Read Mored "good" people. She is a single mum to a pigeon-pair of pre-school toddlers, and undertakes a Double Degree in Education and Science whilst writing for Stay At Home Mum. Read Less

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