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May 26, 2011 at 9:34 pm #599061
But today, the CDC reported that in the first 19 weeks of 2011, 118 cases of measles were reported. The median from 2001 to 2008 was 56 cases ANNUALLY.
“The largest outbreak occurred among 21 persons in a Minnesota population in which many children were unvaccinated because of parental concerns about the safety of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. That outbreak resulted in exposure to many persons and infection of at least seven infants too young to receive MMR vaccine.”
89% of these cases were in unvaccinated people; of the 47 who were hospitalized, only one was vaccinated. Luckily, although 9 developed pneumonia, none developed encephalitis and none died.
Yet.May 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm #725088
Good post, Julie.
The only reason parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids for MMR have been able to “get away with it” for so long is because everyone else HAS been vaccinating, thereby lowering the risk for BOTH groups.
Of course the MMR bugs were still lurking out there the whole time, so it was just a matter of time before another mini-outbreak occurred among the unvaccinated sector of the population.
If parents continue refusing to vaccinate, these mini-outbreaks will eventually morph into pandemics. Too bad it’s the kids who have to die and not the foolish parents. I don’t mind the occasional game of Darwin tag between consenting adults, but when you’re talking about children, that’s another matter.
On the other hand, if you look at the question from the most stringent Darwinian perspective, you could argue that by ending certain “family lines,” these viruses are strengthening the human species by weeding out the genes of those who lack common sense or who flatly reject science. (I’m not taking that Darwinian line myself; I’m just saying it could be argued.)
I believe that Bertrand Russell was getting to the heart of the matter when he said: Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.May 27, 2011 at 12:14 am #725089
if it happened in MN, there’s a good chance those MMR thingies were illegal immigrants from Canada, eh? Need to build a border fence to stop that kinda thing.
Seriously, there are people who believe that the MMR vaccine can cause/trigger autism-spectrum disorders. Kind of another government conspiracy thing.May 27, 2011 at 12:52 am #725090
While I think the backlash against vaccines for children is ridiculous considering that it has no basis in science, you have to admit that a couple hundred cases a year is hardly an epidemic in a country of 308 million people. That’s still exceedingly rare.May 27, 2011 at 1:16 am #725091
me on 28th Ave SWParticipant
I am very strongly pro-vaccination. I was exposed “in theory” to a pt with active case of measles (rubeola) at my job in a medical clinic 10 years ago. The clinic was very proactive, and drew titers on all staff to check for their own immunity status. At that point I had received 3 MMRs; 2 as a child in the 1970s and a booster when I was college-age. Another like-aged coworker and I both were not immune in spite of our vaccine history. We were given another booster, sent home for “quarantine” and returned to work about two weeks later. When the titers were rechecked, we had attained immunity. My point is that even vaccinated people may not have full immunity, which is why “herd immunity” is so important. My high-school aged children have been exposed to Whooping Cough at least 3 times in the past 5 years as well. I expect this kind of outbreak will only get more common. German Measles (rubella) causes very scary birth defects in pregnancy, and the clinic I work at now checks all women attempting to get pregnant for immunity. If they are not immune and refuse to vaccinate, they sign a waiver acknowledging they are aware of the risk they are taking for both themselves and their babies.May 27, 2011 at 2:20 am #725092
There is always another side to the story. People love to say how much vacs have saved us but rarely do the research to see how much they have hurt us. Read the book: Fear of the Invisible by Janine Roberts and then you can make a more educated comment.May 27, 2011 at 2:38 am #725093
Sounds like a lot of people do not remember POLIO.
I do. Not a heckuva lot of fun.
Janine Roberts? I thought she was raptured out of existence!May 27, 2011 at 3:48 am #725094
I am pro vaccinations, just not too young.
Mayhaps this outbreak hunts at an immune system adapting to our games, meaning maybe the abundance of pharmaceuticals that are readily available? (I really don’t know, trying to spark conversation.)
Everything else seems to evolve except for humans, why wouldn’t the measles virus?May 27, 2011 at 5:05 am #725095
Viruses do evolve, HunterG. That’s why there’s a new flu shot every year.
The large percentage of patients who were not vaccinated suggests that that’s not the issue here–if it were a question of mutation I think you’d expect to see more vaccinated patients. Measles mutation rates are quite high under laboratory conditions, but the same has not been found to be true in field studies.May 27, 2011 at 5:17 am #725096
Yep, my family certainly understood the Fear of the Invisible. Like the small pox that scarred my great grandmother’face so badly she looked deformed. Like the polio that killed three of my grandmother’s siblings and the measles that blinded her cousin. O yeah there was the fear they had of the summer and the diseases they knew came with hot weather and the friends that died. Wow, I can’t remember the last time one of children’s friends has been blinded by measles or died of polio. I’m sorry but the research that goes into these books simply does not hold up when you look at childhood mortality rates from 75 years ago compared to rates today in America. If you want to see what it looks like to live without vaccines take a look at any third world country and their childhood mortality rates. There is no comparison. Sad to think that there are parents in other countries who would probably give anything to get vaccines for their children while parents here will actually deny their children that protection. Very scary.May 27, 2011 at 6:03 am #725097
There is also a growing body of long-term research that a chunk of the increase we are seeing in developmental disabilities is more likely due to all the chemicals we (and our parents, etc.) have been ingesting since the post-WWII ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’ mindset started adulterating our food, air and water. Most previous research was about large doses of single chemicals whereas now they are looking at multiple minute doses of multiple chemicals over long periods (another major cause of the increase is simply better awareness and diagnosis of these conditions than in previous decades.)
Is it possible vaccines cause autism? You really can’t prove they don’t in at least some people, given that each person’s biology and chemistry is different and given how vaccines work. Adaptation and mutation is also a possible cause. There is clearly known risk to self with some vaccines (Guillen-Barre Syndrom, for example) but there is also risk to self and others in not being vaccinated. The question is, should parents or the government decide? Does it matter if it is contagious or not? Glad I don’t have kids …May 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm #725098
The problem with letting parent’s decide is that their kids learn the parent’s lessons the hard way.
the sad truth is that if every parent decided not to vaccinate their kids.. the safety net those parents currently count on for their kids wouldn’t exist.
On a personal note… one of the many theories on the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is that the polio vaccines we had as kids triggered a dna change in some of us that made us more susceptible to chronic fatigue syndrome.
Maybe that’s true. I did react very badly to my polio vaccine.
But even if that’s true…
this is better than polio.
the kids that survived polio are now battling something called post polio syndrome that literally takes their breath away and shortens their lives. I have lost wonderful friends to the long term consequences of polio.
Instead of reacting to every scare story…
a sober analysis of the risk benefit ratio indicates that vaccines do more long term good than bad.
I am not trivializing the risk of autism
but it is better understood every day
and the long term outcome for autistic kids improves …
kids who don’t survive childhood diseases don’t get that opportunity.
we forget too easily what the alternatives wereMay 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm #725099
Let’s compare vaccination with seat belt laws.
If your kid isn’t buckled up and there’s a crash, he alone will suffer. But if your kid isn’t vaccinated and comes down with measles, many other children may suffer as well.
So why are seat belts required by law while vaccinations aren’t?
Maybe it’s because a vaccine, like blood from a transfusion, is something that’s put into the body permanently. For whatever reason, some people can’t abide the thought of the government forcing them to put a foreign substance in their body.May 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm #725100
Well, to be fair, DP, there is some history of the government putting things in people’s bodies demonstrably against those people’s best interests (the Tuskegee experiment is probably the most notorious example and is why we have things like Institutional Review Boards now).
Which in and of itself is no argument against vaccination, but probably helps explain why making vaccination mandatory hasn’t gained much traction.May 27, 2011 at 10:11 pm #725101
I am remiss in posting a link to the report I referenced:May 27, 2011 at 10:27 pm #725102
When I looked into it not too long ago, there was most certainly NOT a clearly demonstrated risk between vaccinces and Guillian-Barre Syndrome. Some non-statistcally-significant evidence (it was not backed up to a meaningful extent by the studies). Overall, the benefits certainly outweigh the risks there. Or that’s my opinion, anyway.May 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm #725103
I fine it amazing that parents will believe things they read about vaccinces. Then it goes viral. Then when outbreaks of childhood diseases hit they panic wanting the goverment to rescue them from it. All it takes is a simple shot when doctors recommends it. Those that have ever had theses know just how bad the diseases can be and crippling. Its only been 50 plus yrs that they have been trying to eradicate them how much longer will it take…..?May 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm #725104June 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm #725105
OK, so according to this article in the Times today, Washington state has the highest rate of parent-requested exemptions from child vaccination.
The article notes that 6.2% of Washington’s kindergartner’s are NOT immunized for one or more of the following: polio, whooping cough, measles, hep B, chicken pox — specifically because they’re parents don’t want them immunized.
Something tells me that many of these children are currently being home schooled. Only wish they all were . . .June 2, 2011 at 11:54 pm #725106
Shouldn’t matter home schooled or not theses diseases kill and maim flat out no exceptions. If a child dies from one then the parents need to be prosecuted under the law. Most of theses morons who don’t vacinate their kids due to some zealot religon or they seen bad reports on the internet… of course the internet is always right sorry I forgot…………..yea right. Hmmm got to stop letting this consevative side out gets the blood pressure up. Its ok as long as sarah don’t look good to come election time…
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