Failure of the Herd Protection

A little over a week after our trip to the ER, my baby son got what looked like another cold, much to my consternation.  This time, the cold and cough wasn’t as bad and the fever was intermittent and low grade.

I assumed it was a random viral infection again.  I wasn’t too worried because it seemed a lot lighter than the previous bout with colds and cough.

However, the fever suddenly went up on the 4th day.  And his face broke out in an angry red rash which looked like bad allergies.  His phlegm thickened and he looked miserable.  


Third day after rash first appeared.  The pedia said this is considered a very mild case of measles.

Turns out, it was measles.  

Based on the timing, it looks like he got exposed to the virus during his short stay in the ER.  There was nothing we could do to prevent it.  It was necessary to go to the ER at that time and I don’t regret going in order to ease his difficulty in breathing.

Measles!  I didn’t even get the measles.  Both my older children didn’t go through measles either.  

At the time they were young, there was no outbreak of measles.  They managed to stay protected by the protection of the herd that comes about from mass vaccination.

However, in recent years, measles cases have been on the rise because a lot of parents are opting to forego the measles shot due to fear of the vaccine causing autism.

Baby S is only 8 months old and he had no idea why he was feeling so awful.  His face broke out in rashes which gradually went down his body and to his legs.  The fever spiked to 39 degrees when the rashes appeared and the cough and colds didn’t help in his need to sleep.  His skin was bloated and his eyes turned puffy.  

It was a very uncomfortable few days for all of us.  

Our pediatrician informed us that it’s usually the complications of measles that are life-threatening so he was given another round of antibiotics to protect from pneumonia.  We were told to return in 2 days to make sure no further complications will arise from the illness.

After 2 days, the pediatrician happily told us that Baby S is lucky that his bout with measles is considered a very light and mild one.  His rashes were already starting to fade and the fever was gone.  However, just to be safe we should not expose him to other children until the rashes fade completely.

I couldn’t help but think… if that was just a mild case of measles, I can’t imagine what a bad case is like.  I realize it could have been a whole lot worse.

This is why it is important to vaccinate our children — to protect not only our children but to protect others who are either too young to get the vaccine or have immunological illnesses that make it impossible for them to vaccinate, for whom contracting viruses like this can be fatal.

I’ve blogged about this before in Vaccinate Your Kids! and I make another heartfelt plea… Please…Vaccinate your Kids.





4 thoughts on “Failure of the Herd Protection

  1. I’ve had somebody tell me that. That she would have not vaccinated her child or opted to vaccinate a little later. I just nodded my head and didn’t argue. Since my sister is a pedia (there in Cebu!), I know she would want the best for her nephew and would not recommend anything that would be harmful to him. I trust the science behind vaccination (as you clearly explained in your other post… much better read than most articles I found online.).

    Some hard core breastfeeding advocates also claim that bfeeding is enough to “immunize” children. I’m all for breastfeeding, but I wouldn’t go that far either. I’m more inclined to believe that it enhances vaccinations (though not sure about studies on that either).

    The DOH also has a good health program of free vaccinations for our children. This would really be good for those who can not afford to go to private doctors. Basic vaccinations like measles, mumps, polio… less things to worry about.

    Mommy J, let me extend my thanks that you share your own family concerns and have it become a public issue because they are. While parenting is a personal issue for each family, issues on children’s health is a public one. Kudos!


    • Thanks so much Anj.. your praise means a lot to me. This is really a public concern in my opinion. It affects a lot of people… especially children who can’t vaccinate due to health issues.


  2. This practicing doctor gives a different side about vaccines that most doctors would never give – about its being UNSAFE. She’s doing this despite the risk of ostracism and harm to her own career. Unless she was “crazy,” she would never do this, won’t you agree?


    • Thank you for sharing. I am always interested in seeing both sides of the story and I did research on both. I find the debate fascinating.

      Medical breakthroughs like antibiotics and vaccines have managed to prolong the life expectancy of humans. When once people passed away in their 40’s due to diseases, life expectency now is averaging at 70’s. Although there are risks to vaccines and side effects even to simple medicines like penicillin, the rewards far outweigh the risks. Can you imagine living in an age without the polio vaccine and children are forced to rely on their natural immunity to fight the virus and live the rest of their lives with damaged limbs?

      Imagine not being able to trust your surroundings like the people currently living in Africa who are struggling with the Ebola outbreak.

      Vaccines affords us the comfort of protecting our child from dangerous and potentially fatal illnesses.


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