Flu jab causing narcolepsy in Irish children
Published 16/09/2011 | 13:51
AT least 16 Irish children have been diagnosed with narcolepsy after receiving the H1N1 swine flu vaccination in the winter of 2009/2010.
THE Medical Council has been notified of 16 cases after receiving the pandemrix vaccine, which is no longer prescribed and is now under review by the European Medicine Agency.
Studies in Finland and Sweden have found up to a 16-fold increase in the number of children and adolescents diagnosed with the sleep disorder after they were administered the drug.
Narcolepsy is characterised by extreme sleepiness, hallucinations and cataplexy, which is the experience of a 'dreaming sleep' while awake.
Until now the disorder has been almost unheard of in children under the age of four but Dr Elaine Purcell, a specialist in sleep disorders medicine based in the Mater Private Hospital, said she is now diagnosing very young children.