In 1998, while living in London, my 18-month-old daughter wasn’t feeling well and came out in a strange rash. The local GP had no idea what she had and referred her to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, one of the world’s leading children’s clinics.
The doctors were unfamiliar with Sarah’s condition, but further investigation showed she had measles. The delayed diagnosis wasn’t due to any shortcomings in the National Health Service, but because a vaccine had all but wiped out the disease and none of the doctors, including experienced pediatricians, had actually seen it before. Luckily Sarah had that vaccination, as part of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) injection, and while she showed the symptoms she never suffered the full effects, which could be deadly.
So why did my daughter get measles in a first-world city, two decades after a vaccination had all but eradicated it? The BBC’s policy of giving all issues and views equal measure regardless of their credibility had something to with it.