You may think that this story is from centuries ago, an actual scientist with a biology degree that does not believe in the measles virus? Surely this is a tale from before we had microscopes and laboratories. Alas, that would not be true, as this happened much more recently, just as far back as 2015, we saw a German biologist by the name of Stefan Lanka announce something startling.
The biologist, a researcher with a degree in studying viruses and diseases, announced that he did not believe the measles was a real virus. Lanka went as far as to announce a bounty of 100,000 Euros on his website to anyone who could prove it was a virus. And well as expected a couple of Doctors proved he was wrong in a couple of minutes. Later, Lanka was ordered in German court to hand over the money – as he had tried to swindle his way out of the payment.
After the announcement on his website, a fellow German doctor came forward by the name of David Barden providing evidence from multiple different sources and studies which proved that measles was indeed a virus. Lanka at first said that the studies proved nothing and he remained skeptical. You see after an interview with the German paper Suedkurier, the real story came out, Lanka believed that it was a psychosomatic illness. He went as far as to say that the sickness was caused solely to people who suffered traumatic separations.
A court in Ravensburg ordered Lanka to pay out the reward, stating that the evidence was sufficient and that his theory had no backing. That being said even after all this he has still maintained that measles is not a virus and plans to appeal against the court order.
Many countries are currently facing outbreaks of measles as people have become skeptical of vaccinations which have caused our herd immunity to stop. Doctors and the World Health Organization have called for governments to step in and ensure vaccinations are being made. Measles is, of course, one of the world’s worst known diseases, being fatal and can cause severe health problems. Infants and children are particularly vulnerable, which is why David Barden was so motivated to prove his colleague Lanka was completely wrong.