Some anonymous person asked me on Dr Bob's board whether I did not think that unvaccinated children should see a doctor when they are sick (well, anon phrased a bit differently, but I guess this is what s/he meant).
Of course they should. Every child has the right to adequate medical care. However, every parent who has a sick child has to think for a moment, before they haul it to the pediatrician:
Could my child be contagious? Could this be something dangerous to the other kids in the practise?
Parents of unvaccinated children have more dangerous diseases to consider than parents of vaccinated children - some parents do not think first. In the year 2000, an unvaccinated preteen came down with a fever and parents took him to a pediatrician's practise. He infected six children in the waiting room with measles, three of these children were under 12 months old. Two are now dying.
This is Micha in April 2005, about a year after the onset of his SSPE. He was 5 months old when he contracted measles in that practise (ETA: this movie needs a RealPlayer plugin):
The average survival time after onset of SSPE is 4 years. Micha is still alive. He is not better. He needs to take strong medication to keep the seizures at bay.
This is Natalie - she was 11 months old when she contracted measles from the same unvaccinated preteen. She came down with SSPE in Summer 2007:
The movies are in German, the mothers talk about the healthy children they had, their dreams and aspirations, watch for a minute or two to understand why we think that:
If parents think they know enough about measles not to vaccinate their children, they should recognize the signs of the disease and have a doctor who does home visits for medical care.
Edited on 4/2/11 to exchange the Micha and Natalie movies for copies that run.