Twenty cases of sleeping sickness linked to H1N1 vaccine

Twenty of the 600 thousand children who were vaccinated against swine flu in 2009, have contracted the severe sleeping sickness narcolepsy. This is evident from reports received by the side effects center Lareb.

Nearly 600 thousand children between the ages of 6 months and five years were vaccinated against swine flu (Mexicaanse griep) in 2009. Three years later a European study showed that a link exists between the vaccine and the onset of the chronic sleeping sickness narcolepsy.

It now appears that serious side effects of narcolepsy indeed occurred in 20 children, 19 of which are toddlers. Narcolepsy is a sleep/wake disorder. Patients experience symptoms that include uncontrollable sleep attacks during the day.

In May it was already clear that eight children had contracted the disease. According to Lareb director Agnes Kant, the increased number of reports is partly the result of the media attention the children with the disease received in May.

"Some parents then realized that the two could be connected." says Kant. The interval between vaccination and the onset of the disease may also last longer in some cases.