MMR (Private Eye 18-31 Oct 2002)

LAST week it was reported that a 13-year-old boy who became severely epileptic after his MMR jab has been found to have measles virus "consistent with the vaccine strain" lodged at the site of his brain damage. He is not the only one.

Another boy, it emerges, died two years ago aged 15 after worsening epilepsy and a deterioration in his health. A recent brain biopsy has also shown the presence of such measles virus in his brain.

His family, which wants to remain anonymous is one of only a handful to have won a payment from the government's vaccine damage unit over the MMR jab. The boy was a healthy, bright four and a half year old and about to start school when he received his triple jab. Within hours he suffered a fever fit and swiftly deteriorated. At one stage he was having 200 seizures a day.

Ironically, it was accepted that he had been damaged by the jab because of the now-banned urabe-strain mumps component. (The original MMR jab was withdrawn because the mumps ingredient was found to cause potentially fatal mumps-meningitis). And it is only in recent weeks that examination of his brain tissue has found more likely culprit to be the persistent measles virus that is "consistent" with the vaccine strain.  Like the 13 year old whose plight was revealed last week, he too had had no known exposure to natural measles.

The examination of tissue on the 13 year old only took place because his epilepsy was so severe that surgery to remove the area believed to be sparking the seizures was recommended. Like the hundreds of autistic children, whose families also blame MMR, the boy also had digestive problems and bowel biopsies have also found measles virus consistent with the vaccine.

On a more positive note, the boy is now making progress at a special school and is at the moment seizure free. But his mother remains very worried. She said she decided to go public with the findings because she wanted to force the government to examine children like her son properly and undertake meaningful research. But there was no sign of that last week. The department of health said that none of this evidence had been "shared" with it and it could not comment.