Measles leaves eight-month-old girl fighting for life as experts blame anti-vaxxers for latest outbreak
The virus is so contagious that it is possible for a baby to get the infection even from entering a room where a person infected with measles had been two hours ago
Eight-month-old Shira Goldschmidt had to be admitted in the hospital after she got infected with measles. Her mother Fainy Sukenik is now furious at anti-vaxxers after experts blamed them for her daughter's infection.
In the recent years, measles outbreaks have become common in the United States and Israel, where Shira and her family currently reside. This, according to experts, has happened due to a large number of people refusing to get their children vaccinated. "I'm so angry and so frustrated," Sukenik said, as reported by CNN. "On Facebook, I wrote to the anti-vaxxers, 'you are hurting our kids because of your choice.'"
Experts believe that it won't come as a surprise if more such outbreaks are observed in the US. There have already been a number of reports of measles cases in part of the country and parents are not too happy.
Anti-vaxxers, who choose to not vaccinate their children, will spread measles to babies under the age of one as they are too young to get vaccinated even if their parents want them to, according to experts.
"It's absolutely inevitable," said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In fact, the virus is so contagious that it is possible for a baby to get the infection even from entering a room where a person infected with measles had been two hours ago.
"Our babies are no different than Israeli babies," said Dr. William Schaffner, an adviser on vaccines to the CDC. "And the measles virus in Israel is the same virus as here in the US."
Shira started getting sick in December after she experienced a runny nose and a 104-degree fever. When her parents took her to the doctor, Shira's symptoms were confused for a regular virus and they were told that she would be alright in no time. However, her parents realized that it was measles when the red spots started appearing on their baby.
"It wasn't just dots on one part of her body. They were everywhere: inside her mouth, between her fingers, in between her toes," her mother said. "I'm an experienced mother, and never ever have I seen something like this. I was really scared."
By this time, Shira was finding it hard to eat or drink and became so weak that she was unable to even lift her head. It is then that Sukenik decided to take it to Facebook and write an emotional post on Facebook. "Let's talk for a moment about freedom of choice for those who believe that vaccinations are Satan and the source of all evil," Sukenik wrote in Hebrew on her Facebook. "It should be stated that they have a right to believe in anything they choose, but we should also talk about the price that others pay."
She stated that anti-vaxxers should either "stay in enclosed areas or hold a big banner noting that you are anti-vaccine." Talking to the news outlet Sukenik added, "Are you ashamed that you don't vaccinate? No, you're not ashamed. So you should wear a sign and let me choose whether my kids will play with your kids." Since then Shira has been doing well and is becoming healthier. "Now, baruch Hashem, Shira is OK; she is happy; she has started walking," her mother said.
However, the doctors informed Sukenik that Shira wasn't completely out of danger as there were chances of her to experience some complications of measles in the years to come. Even though it is rare, there are still chances that someone who once had measles to develop subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, a disabling and deadly brain disorder, seven to ten years after their first measles diagnosis.