Ivanka has been battling serious illness after receiving the HPV vaccine.Picture: Jason Boud
Ivanka has been battling serious illness after receiving the HPV vaccine.Picture: Jason Boud

Another girl seriously ill after HPV vaccine

By Bronwyn Davids Time of article published Apr 28, 2017

Share this article:

Cape Town – A Nelspruit girl who is suffering from lower motor neuron infection after receiving the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix at her school, is being flown to Cape Town to be examined by paediatrician Professor Pieter Fourie.

The girl’s mother, Hildegardt Nieuwoudt, said Zanrie, an 11-year-old twin, was vaccinated last March and in September. 

By December she started complaining of migraine-type headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea. 

Pains began in one knee and by January both knees were affected. Doctors found that Zanrie had no reflexes and MRI scans, blood and other tests “came back clean”, said Nieuwoudt.

Fourie is treating Ivanka Nortier, the 10-year-old Kraaifontein girl who has been suffering for the past eight months from what doctors believe to be “possible HPV vaccine associated encephalopathy”. She was hospitalised again on Tuesday night.

In April last year, Ivanka received the HPV vaccine Cervarix which all Grade 4 girls, older than 9 years old receive at government schools as a preventative measure to protect them from HPV infection.

By late July, she collapsed and spent three months unable to walk, speak, eat and was in pain, her father said last week. Baffled by negative test results, doctors struggled last year to reach a diagnosis.

Nortier said that Ivanka was given a lumbar puncture on Wednesday and that with the treatment of intravenous immunoglobulin she was able to move on her own again. “Her relapses occur between six to eight weeks. She complains of headaches and has pains in her limbs.”

Fourie said the medical team had investigated extensively and consulted with colleagues but “nothing fitted any of the possible illnesses resembling the symptoms and history of her disease profile The diagnosis is not confirmed but merely based on the logical deduction of facts and clinical history.”

It was impossible to “know how our genetic background predisposes us to be more susceptible to infections of certain autoimmune diseases”, said Fourie.

Nortier said despite being out of school for months, Ivanka is going to Grade 5 based on her top exam results in June.

Cape Argus

Share this article: