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Thanks, antivaccinationists. Thanks again for the measles.

Thanks again, antivaccine activists. Thanks for the measles. Again:

Last year was the worst year for measles in the U.S. in 15 years, health officials said Thursday.

There were 222 cases of measles, a large jump from the 60 or so seen in a typical year. Most of the cases last year were imported — either by foreign visitors or by U.S. residents who picked up the virus overseas.

U.S. children have been getting vaccinated against the measles for about 50 years. But low vaccination rates in Europe and other places resulted in large outbreaks overseas last year.

One notes that this appears to be a disturbing trend over the last few years.

And, yes, Virginia, it was the unvaccinated who were mostly responsible for this uptick in measles cases last year:

Generally, the Americans who got measles last year were not vaccinated. At least two-thirds of the U.S. cases fell into that category, including 50 children whose parents got philosophical, religious or medical exemptions to skip the school vaccinations required by most states, CDC officials said.

Given the news stories, I decided to go to the source, Friday’s MMWR from the CDC, which was published yesterday:

In 2000, the United States achieved measles elimination (defined as interruption of year-round endemic measles transmission) (1). However, importations of measles into the United States continue to occur, posing risks for measles outbreaks and sustained measles transmission. During 2011, a total of 222 measles cases (incidence rate: 0.7 per 1 million population) and 17 measles outbreaks (defined as three or more cases linked in time or place) were reported to CDC, compared with a median of 60 (range: 37-140) cases and four (range: 2-10) outbreaks reported annually during 2001-2010. This report updates an earlier report on measles in the United States during the first 5 months of 2011 (2). Of the 222 cases, 112 (50%) were associated with 17 outbreaks, and 200 (90%) were associated with importations from other countries, including 52 (26%) cases in U.S. residents returning from abroad and 20 (10%) cases in foreign visitors. Other cases associated with importations included 67 (34%) linked epidemiologically to importations, 39 (20%) with virologic evidence suggesting recent importation, and 22 (11%) linked to cases with virologic evidence of recent importation. Most patients (86%) were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status. The increased numbers of outbreaks and measles importations into the United States underscore the ongoing risk for measles among unvaccinated persons and the importance of vaccination against measles (3).

We’ve been fortunate thus far in the U.S. in that we haven’t had any really huge outbreaks. Yet. Europe, however, has not been so lucky. In 2011, more than 30,000 cases were reported in Europe, 90% of of which occurred in France, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Germany.

Antivaccinationists will frequently ask why they should vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine when measles is currently uncommon in the U.S. Of course, the primary reason that measles is so uncommon in the U.S. is because over the last few decades we have been able to maintain a generally high level of vaccine coverage. I would remind them that the U.K. had also achieved measles elimination back in the 1990s. Then Andrew Wakefield came along. With the willing help of sensationalistic British tabloids, he spread the myth that the MMR vaccine causes autism. Within less than a decade, measles came roaring back in the U.K.. It’s now endemic again in the U.K., thanks to plummeting MMR uptake rates. They’ll also ask why it matters to those whose children are vaccinated if they don’t vaccinate their kids. It’s true that vaccination against measles is very good, but it’s not 100% effective. That means that, because measles is such a contagious disease, even a certain percentage of the vaccinated are put at risk by the unvaccinated. Then there are children too young to be vaccinated or who have a medical condition that precludes vaccination. They rely on herd immunity for protection.

Another thing that antivaccine zealots frequently forget is that, like it or not, we live in a global society with a highly mobile population. A highly infectious disease like measles is only a plane ride away, and, in fact, that’s a common way that outbreaks in the U.S. get started. The oceans that we used to look to to isolate us from the rest of the world are no longer any protection against infectious diseases, and, unfortunately, Europe and other areas where antivaccinationists have succeeded in frightening parents to refuse vaccination for their children are now helping to spread the disease globally, including to the U.S. Is Europe a warning for the U.S. regarding measles? It could be. I worry that the U.S. is on the same path as the U.K. and Europe, just five to ten years behind them. If we allow vaccination rates to fall too much, in 2020 it’s not too far-fetched to imagine 30,000 cases a year in North America.

So, once again in light of this sort of news, I have to repeat a sentiment I’ve repeated a few times in the past: Rejoice, Jenny McCarthy, J.B. Handley, Jake Crosby, Kim Stagliano, Dan Olmsted, Barbara Loe Fisher, Dr. Jay Gordon, Dr. Bob Sears, and all the other antivaccine activists (or their willing dupes who oh-so-piously claim they are really and truly “not antivaccine”) spreading misinformation, pseudoscience, and fear about vaccines! You appear to be winning. You’re succeeding in casting doubt on the safety of vaccines to the point that it’s causing real problems for our public health system every time an unvaccinated person travels. And let’s not forget antivaccinationists in other countries, such as John Stone and Jackie Fletcher in the U.K. and Meryl Dorey in Australia. Because this is a global economy and society, it takes a global effort to degrade herd immunity in multiple countries around the world to make sure that measles.

Unfortunately for children, that’s just what we have.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

228 replies on “Thanks, antivaccinationists. Thanks again for the measles.”

It is my opinion (and not necessarily that of my employers) that we’re much closer behind Europe than we think. I’m thinking 3 to 5 years behind. But that’s just the epidemiologist and biostatistician in me looking at the data. As we all know, the singular of data is not an anecdote… Or something like that.

Hey look everybody is Sid, the guy who thinks that 220 cases is not a lot, even though usually ther is only 60 cases. So we now know that Sid thinks that measles isn’t important unless it cases are overs 220. How many cases do there have to be for you to consider measles important Sid?

Hey look everybody is Sid, the guy who thinks that 220 cases is not a lot, even though usually ther is only 60 cases. So we now know that Sid thinks that measles isn’t important unless it cases are overs 220. How many cases do there have to be for you to consider measles important Sid?

I wonder how many preventable cases it’ll take. I have a feeling anti-vaxxers would continue to deny the seriousness of measles even after preventable disabilities and fatalities become expected, like they were in the Bad Old Days of my grandparents.

Before one of the usual innumerate suspects crows about how 14% of the measles victims were vaccinated, let me “run the numbers” for you.

In 2010 (the most recent year for which full data are available from the CDC), the percentage of people in the US who had received full (one dose for children, two doses for teens) measles vaccination was:

Children (19 – 35 months): 91.5%
Teens (13 – 17 years): 90.5%

Since almost all of the measles victims were under 18 years old, these numbers should be sufficient to calculate the odds ratio.

If the 222 victims had been randomly distributed (i.e. not dependent on vaccination status), we would expect that somewhere around 91% of them would have been vaccinated – just about the opposite of what was found. In fact, the odds ratio for getting measles in this outbreak was a bit over 62, meaning that the chances of getting measles was 62 times greater if the person wasn’t vaccinated.

This illustrates two useful and important facts about vaccination:

[1] Vaccination works.
[2] Vaccination isn’t 100% effective, which is why it is so important that we vaccinate everybody who can be vaccinated.

Prometheus

This side of the pond it is the same. In Liverpool, for example, there have been around 136 cases of measles in the first 3 months of this year.
http://www.hpa.org.uk/hpr/archives/2012/hpr1512.pdf

And guess who is most affected?
1) Those too young to be vaccinated (who will also be the illest potentially) 26 cases were in infants under 1 year of age.
2) Those who are adolescents/teens (ie those who missed out on MMR when Wakefield’s MMR scare was at its height and vaccination levels dropped). Theis group can also be pretty ill, since measles in the “adult” can be severe.

So far there have been 28 hospitalisations from the first 113 cases in Liverpool (ie 25%).
http://www.hpa.org.uk/ProductsServices/LocalServices/NorthWest/NorthWestPressReleases/nwest120326Merseysidemeasleslatest/

On the plus side, the current England and Wales MMR uptake rates are 92% for 1st dose and 87% for the second dose (having been under 80% post Wakefield)

On the down side, pertussis cases are up – with 665 cases in the first 3 months of the year (with 65 in those under 3 months of age and 3 deaths).
Yes, 3 deaths.

“On the down side, pertussis cases are up – with 665 cases in the first 3 months of the year (with 65 in those under 3 months of age and 3 deaths).
Yes, 3 deaths.”

3 babies dead- I don’t know how these fanatics can sleep at night. (Oh I know, they have no trouble- it’s just the rest of us who can’t)

Here’s an article about the 2012 measles outbreak in Ukraine (more than 5,000 cases, YTD, according to Ukraine public health officials.)

http://www.vaccinestoday.eu/diseases/measles-crisis-5000-new-cases-in-ukraine/

Uptake in Ukraine, for the first measles vaccine is 56 %; uptake for the second measles vaccine is 41 %.

There is widespread *suspicion* that Ukraine has actually under reported cases of measles. The risks for unimmunized visitors to acquire the disease, while attending the European Football Championship in June, is “high”, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention:

http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/20120314_RA_Measles_Ukraine.pdf

It is beyond belief that American Airlines is featuring an interview with Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network on all domestic and international flights during July/August. Transcript of interview can be read here http://www.antivaxxers.com/?p=4668

Between the Euro Cup and the Olympics, public health officials must be getting nervous. The current measles outbreak in the Ukraine is of real concern http://www.healthcanal.com/public-health-safety/28466-Measles-outbreak-Ukraine-vaccination-advice.html

Quote of the day from an antivaxer on another board:

“I’m hoping the measles “epidemic” comes to my area. I’d LOVE for my son to get it. Measles is the only known cure for his vaccine induced autoimmune disorder.”

I briefly hoped this person might be parodying a bizarrely clueless antivaxer, but it seems not.

Speaking of clueless – hi Sid!

1) Those too young to be vaccinated (who will also be the illest potentially) 26 cases were in infants under 1 year of age.

@ dt, if the parents are even aware, they get to look forward to worrying about SSPE which is 100% fatal and a horrible neurological sequelae of measles infection in approximately 1/10,000 cases although in children under 2 years old, the risk goes up to about 1/2000.

I briefly hoped this person might be parodying a bizarrely clueless antivaxer, but it seems not.

Sounds like someone’s been listening to Thomas Cowan, who asserts that “all the pediatric textbooks tell us that a child who has nephrotic syndrome … will most likely be cured if he simultaneously contracts measles.” This seems to rather drastically overstate the case.

RE: 3 deaths from pertussis.

I am dumbfounded by the anti-vax belief that measles, vericella, and influenza are mild illnesses that no one should really worry about. Of course this belief can only be propagated in a generation of parents who have no personal or community experience with the dangers these diseases pose. It is deeply ironic that the fear of vaccines, rather than fear of the infections they prevent, has flourished only because the vaccines have been so effective. It seem we are doomed to suffer from contagion; either the encapsulated viral particle type, or the psychological mass hysteria type.

I had a futile argument on the GaiaHealth web site in the comments after an anti-measles blog post a couple weeks ago (after watching The Refusers First Do No Harm video, .. thanks a lot Orac, deep sarcasm intended). Of course my final and definitive post, complete with citations, links and brilliant and witty argument was deleted by the moderator. The debate equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and saying “LALALALALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU, LALALALALAA”

Link here if you want to take up the fight:

http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2012-04-07/measles-outbreaks-centered-in-the-vaccinated-studies-show-vaccine-is-ineffective/

It got me thinking about two approaches to combat the anti-vax massage.

First is that a central online repository for information/links/studies/refined arguments would be helpful for those of us deluded enough to think that combating the blogosphere is a worthwhile effort. All cataloged by vaccine and also by Trope.

Second is that my non-legal mind wants to sue the stupid right out of these people. If you are publicly trashing vaccines and vaccine rates fall, then it seem to me you aught to be financially and criminally liable when the inevitable happens: disease rates will/have rise/risen and innocents will/have die/died. If I was a parent and my kid died from measles, H.FLU, etc, then I would want the Terminator for my lawyer. Finding a lawyer to sue someone shouldn’t be too hard in this country, right?

Perhaps such efforts are already underway.

Next time I copy my post for easy retrieval.

CWatkins

#8 dt
Liverpool and North Wales. With the Eisteddfod starting the potential for the Porthmadog measles outbreak to spread to South Wales, which is far more densely populated and with much better transport links, it seems unlikely measles will stay localised to Liverpool and its immediate neighbours (even with dirty great mountains in the way).
http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/news/22245

If I was a parent and my kid died from measles, H.FLU, etc, then I would want the Terminator for my lawyer. Finding a lawyer to sue someone shouldn’t be too hard in this country, right?

It’s not easy to prove negligence for conditions that are contagious before they are symptomatic. There’s no legal duty to vaccinate, so you’d have to at a minimum demonstrate, in addition to the chain of transmission that you’re suing over, that a reasonable person would have known that they needed to quarantine their child or at least warn before coming into contact. And no, IANAL.

#11 AuntyFuzz

>Transcript of interview can be read here
h_ttp://www.antivaxxers.com/?p=4668

Reads more like a “paid presentation”.

As the AV’s maintain that vaccines are ineffective and the reduction of infectious disease is due to better hygiene. Are they now going to argue we’re getting dirtier?

@ CWAtkins: If only…we could sue parents. I myself, would be looking into ways to sue Dr. Bob Sears, if I had an infant who got infected with measles, during the 2008 San Diego Measles outbreak (Thanks to Science Mom and Caterina):

http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2011/04/2008-measles-in-dr-bob-sears-waiting.html

No, IANAL…but we have proof all over the internet about Dr. Bob Sears’ “alternative vaccine schedule”. I would love to see a successful lawsuit against Dr. Bob…based on Dr. Sears’ deviating from the American Academy of Pediatrics “Standards of Care” for complete and timely immunizations.

My daughter is seven months old, and I live in a high-woo area (Ann Arbor, MI.) One of my biggest fears is that some anti-vaxxer will get my daughter killed before she’s old enough for these vaccinations. It’s 2012. I shouldn’t have to worry about these things.

RE legal approach

Parents may not have he legal obligation to vaccinate, although that is an issue that should be debated, but health care providers do have a legal responsibility to provide accurate advise and I think a valid argument could be made that chiropracters and the Dr. Sears of this world are liable for falling vaccine rates and ergo for resultant cases.

Anti-vaccine Web sites and bloggers are spewing a fire hose of misinformation that represents a very real threat to public health. How is that different than yelling fire in a crowded theater? Free speech has its limits. Logic and facts are not winning the battle, time to bring in the lawyers. We should at least try.

CWatkins

Not getting your child vaccinated against measles and mumps is absurd and irresponsible. These two diseases have life changing consequences. I grew up in the time before there were vaccines for these diseases and got both. Measles ruined my eyes. Mumps may have ruined my chances to have children. A parent that doesn’t believe they should get their child vaccinated against these diseases should talk to someone who actually had the diseases. How soon we forget…

re Ukraine:
as they say, it’s only a flight away.
As a matter of fact: I played tennis early yesterday am with someone whose house-mate just flew in from…. Ukraine.

Twenty-odd years ago, I had a very different life- family obligations and my ex’s *interesting* career had me flying around quite a bit, most of it North America, Western Europe and semi-tropical island er… paradises.. but oddly enough, vaccine-preventable illnesses were not amongst my many worries. Things have changed, I guess. Thanks, Andy!

@ CWatkins:
If only. If only. If only.
Altho’ I entirely share your sentiment it is far more likely that those who *spew* anti-vaccine- and other alt med poppycock- will sue people who publicise and de-construct their prevarication. The Grand Poobah of Woo has a stable full of lawyers at the ready as we speak just itching for a chance and then there is expat boy in Texas…

Thus I attempt to air as many dirty linens ( mis-information) as I can, leaving off my second last name and locus.

“I’m hoping the measles “epidemic” comes to my area. I’d LOVE for my son to get it. Measles is the only known cure for his vaccine induced autoimmune disorder.”
WTF!
I would love to see the peer-reviewed papers backing up that statement…

CWatkins: “I am dumbfounded by the anti-vax belief that measles, vericella, and influenza are mild illnesses that no one should really worry about. Of course this belief can only be propagated in a generation of parents who have no personal or community experience with the dangers these diseases pose.”

The lack of personal experience is probably because their own parents were smart enough to have them vaccinated.

Unfortunately for children, that’s just what we have.

Unfortunately, even retarded children were used as guinea pigs without fail. Cue Enders.

As the AV’s maintain that vaccines are ineffective and the reduction of infectious disease is due to better hygiene. Are they now going to argue we’re getting dirtier?

If you’re a vaccinator, then you’re an infection promoter. So yes, vaccinators are dirty little pigs. Get a clue.

I first realized how poorly the US was doing in measles vaccination last semester during my epi class. we had group project where each member of the group had an area (country or US state) and we had to gather and correlate disease and health data on each area. For my 6 member group the data (for area and measles vaccination rate(>18yrs))was as follows:

The Gambia 91.5%
Mongolia 94.0%
Idaho 70.5%
Niger 73.0%
Guatemala 93.05
Lebanon 53.0%

When I saw that Idaho was second to last, behind only Lebanon, and getting it ass kicked by The Gambia, Mongolia and Guatemala I was floored.

I should proofread my posts for grammar, also I should mention that we were told in that class that 90% is though to be the level at which herd immunity starts to have a significant effect so all those Idaho parents counting on herd immunity to save their un-vaccinated children should probably think again.

t’s not easy to prove negligence for conditions that are contagious before they are symptomatic. There’s no legal duty to vaccinate, so you’d have to at a minimum demonstrate, in addition to the chain of transmission that you’re suing over, that a reasonable person would have known that they needed to quarantine their child or at least warn before coming into contact. And no, IANAL.

You’re right. You are not a lawyer, you’re an infection promoter. Vaccinated children can also become “contagious before they are symptomatic.”

A further bit of evidence that childhood diseases were mass killers: The Baltic SD (now called Pioneer) cemetery opened in 1871. In the first ten years 131 people were buried there, 80 of them younger than 2 years old. You can see tombstones where families lost several children within a weeks time (probably diphtheria epidemics).

Has anyone made a count of how many deaths Andrew Wakefield is responsible for? I know Jenny has one.

Something people do not factor into account is that disease transmission can move both ways. Even in an area where measles is endemic does not mean there is an outbreak going on all the time. It is possible that an outbreak in Europe or the US can be carried back by the same channels and create a significant outbreak in a lesser developed country. The moral issue here is that the mortality rate there is >10%. Just so people can remember, we are trying to eradicate Measles all over the world. It has no non human reservoir. We are not just trying to stop it here, but everywhere. It can be done. In the last 150 years it has been responsible for 200 million deaths. It currently causes 45 million cases and 800,000 deaths a year. It may have only 1 per 1000 death rate in the US, but in the rest of the world it is 10+ percent. If you don’t have a valid medical reason for not being immunized you should be. If you have a philosophical objection, then you are an ignorant, philosophically, selfish, child killer.

While you’re thanking people for the spike in measles, be sure and add extra special thanks to the Johnson & Johnson heirs, whose generous millions in donations helped further the spread of the anti-vaccine message, including funding the work of our friend, Andrew Wakefield during his time at Thoughtful House.

A few approaches that may be worth trying:

= Lawyer letters to bloggers dispensing anti-vax nonsense. Basically threaten to sue them ’til they’re blue, over anyone who gets ill or dies as a result of their advice. This may only scare off a few, but each one we take down is progress.

= Sic the Postal Inspection Service on blogs and Facebook pages that blab about sending infectious material through the mail (e.g. chicken pox contaminated items). Sending biohazards through the mail without appropriate paperwork and proper containers, is a felony. The Postal Inspectors are ferociously capable law enforcement, highly respected by the FBI, and they will swing into action if you provide them with evidence (links, date/time-stamped screenshots, etc.).

= Explore the possibility of writing legislation based on the model of “agricultural disparagement” laws that exist in many agricultural states. These laws penalize individuals who make statements against agricultural products without scientific evidence. Now frankly I detest these laws and any other attempts to protect private sector entities from even asinine speech, but as long as they remain on the books, they are a potential model. The goal would be laws that penalize individuals who make statements against vaccination without scientific evidence. Be sure to define scientific evidence in a manner that excludes papers such as Wakefield’s that got yanked, and anecdotal “stuff” that hasn’t been published in reputable journals.

= Also on the legislative front, explore discontinuing “religious objections” to vaccines or making them so strict as to be almost unobtainable, like getting conscientious objector status in World War Two. Various “speed bumps on the road to outbreak” might be tried as well, such as: =Parents who obtain religious objector status, are required to self-quarantine their entire families at the first sign of illness, and can be held civilly-liable if they do not. =Children of religious objectors ineligible for public school, parents must provide evidence of private or home schooling (“freedom isn’t free”).

= Develop religious counter-arguements to religious objections. For example the whole “render unto Caesar” principle is worth trying: “God won’t send you to hell for obeying the law against your will.” This is going to require input from comparative religion scholars.

= Fight woo with woo if necessary. OK, put on your rubber gloves and swamp boots first, but none the less: When someone claims that “vaccines aren’t 100% effective,” trot out the quantum woo and claim that “since the universe is fundamentally uncertain, there are exceptions to everything including the so-called law of gravity, but none the less, getting your shots is as smart as not leaping off ladders.” Devoted students of the sociology of woo ought to be able to come up with some good examples.

= Use emotional warfare on anti-vax blogs. Tell emotional stories full of tears and sobbing and unbearable grief and terror, about people in your own family or people you read about, who were sick with or died of terrible diseases. Don’t hold back details about bodily fluids and suchlike: the more gross the better. This stuff has a way of infiltrating the minds of readers and subtly influencing their decisions, in a manner similar to advertising.

= “Prescribe the symptom,” also on anti-vax blogs. Go in there and “agree with them” and then say things that appear thoroughly delusional, overtly nuts, blatantly and obviously wrong even to nincompoops, etc. Occasional spelling and grammar errors are also useful but don’t over-do. The point of this exercise is to create an impression that drives away undecideds who may come in to check out these sites. It helps to do this as a group effort and begin gradually, so the sites appear to be “going downhill slowly.”

There are plenty of other possible tactics along these lines.

I have worked with children under 5 for 35 years. I remember when the whole class/group would be absent because of a measles outbreak.

Two weeks ago I saw the first case of measles I have seen for almost 20 years. The parents of the child are against vaccinations.

Thank goodness all other children in the setting had had the MMR vaccine – though some of them at a little over a year had only just had it, and none had had the second jab.

I think many young parents, because they don’t remember the devastation caused by vaccine preventable diseases, think that they are trivial childhood diseases; others think they no longer exist so are no longer a problem, not realising that it’s because of vaccines that they are no longer a problem.

It’s all best summed up in the words of a colleague: ‘Measles?! In this day and age?!’

CDC authorities 1967 (when measles was very common) :”For centuries the measles virus has maintained a remarkably stable ecological relationship with man. The clinical disease is a characteristic syndrome of notable constancy and only moderate severity. Complications are infrequent, and, with adequate medical care, fatality is rare.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1919891/pdf/pubhealthreporig00027-0069.pdf

Orac, the atheistic Skeptic Society agenda Member, measles alarmist, slippery slope logical fallacy user:

“If we allow vaccination rates to fall too much, in 2020 it’s not too far-fetched to imagine 30,000 cases a year in North America.”

How many deaths do you predict from your breast surgery position? So do you think there will be 3,000 deaths in 2020 because of the often quoted 1 in a 1000 measles death rate?

More so than the prevaccine era? So much projection. So little actual science.

Do you agree that there are risk factors for measles death or do you think it’s homogenous?

Hmm…..
Very interesting-
h_ttp://www.ageofautism.com/2010/06/david-gorskis-financial-pharma-ties-what-he-didnt-tell-you.html

@anon:
Wow. I mean just wow.
The contortions in that article are reminiscent of Mike Adams’ conspiracy paranoia at Natural News. Jake is really stretching.

Hmm…..
Very interesting-

Well, in the sense that it’s a glimpse into just how credulous Jake has been. Has he trotted out that EPA line recently? I don’t subscribe to Tedium Digest.

The “conflict of interest” which Jake Crosby claims is this:

1) The university at which Orac is an associate professor has received funding from Sanofi-Aventis.

2) Orac is doing research into using a Sanofi-Aventis drug as treatment for breast cancer.

3) There is research being done into using the same drug as a treatment for autism.

And that’s it. Neither the university nor Sanofi-Aventis is funding Orac’s research. He isn’t even getting the drug for free from Sanofi-Aventis. He doesn’t stand to make any money if the drug sells well or lose any money if it sells poorly. While it’s conceivable that a university employee might fear that the university would lose Sanofi-Aventis’s funding if they publicly anti-vaccine, it beggars the imagination that Sanofi-Aventis would make their funding contingent upon one of the university’s employees writing pro-vaccine blog posts.

@anon

Thanks for the link. Did not realise how completely paranoid the anti vexers are.

By that logic, if you have an investment in a mutual fund that has some pharma shares you are a Pharma shill and need to disclose Conflict of interest.

Real Crazy

@g724
Bravo. That was quite a lengthy, well thought out list of possible attacks against disease promotion by the anti-vax crowd.

augustine @39 :

“If we allow vaccination rates to fall too much, in 2020 it’s not too far-fetched to imagine 30,000 cases a year in North America.”

How many deaths do you predict from your breast surgery position? So do you think there will be 3,000 deaths in 2020 because of the often quoted 1 in a 1000 measles death rate?

I see augustine is having difficulty with that pesky arithmetic thing again.

Oh dear. Is Jake being stupid enough to push “Orac is a Phama Shill” again? That went so well last time he tried. I sincerely doubt his employer is very worried. But then, it’s one more way that Jake is writing himself onto the unemployable list once he graduates…. I certainly wouldn’t hire him.

Oops..that’s what I get for reading blogs before coffee has sunk in. Jake’s attack is from 2010, when he tried (and failed) to get the doctor fired. So “anon” is almost 2 years out of the loop… such a Brave Sir Robin!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but 1 in a 1,000 would mean that you would expect to see 30 deaths from 30,000 cases, right? Not 3,000. I do wonder when the troll will learn math and, consequently, how to make a reasoned argument?

Oh how cute, Augie manages to cherry-pick quotes from a decades-old article, demonstrate piss poor maths and set up a massive red herring all in one post. Hey Augie, the current measles fatality rate in the EU is the same as the pre-vaccine era.

Over at AoA Kim posted an article that compares pro-vacciners to Timothy McVeigh. Classy Kim…. Real classy.

@ RTContracting: I knew it, I just knew it…I’m not the only one who goes *slumming* at AoA.

Must the *journalists* at AoA, turn every sad day of reflection and every joyful holiday, into a device to bemoan their plight of having a developmentally disabled child?

We’re approaching Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, when Stagmom and her colleagues will be cranking out multiple articles about their *stolen-by-autism* children.

Hey Kim, Arbor Day is April 27th. Are you busy planting seeds or busy composing another mournful article?

“their *stolen-by-autism* children.”

Would they rather their children were really stolen by disease. This is a quote from an old Australian poet, Henry Lawson

Our first child took—a cruel week in dyin’, …
I’ve pulled three through and buried two
Since then—and I’m past carin’.

I found it in this NSW report from 2003. The charts at the top of pages 2 and 4 are worth looking at. http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/publichealth/surveys/phb_hepb_immu.pdf

@ g724:
As a devotee of the psychology of woo:
we could use the homeopathetic argument in support of vaccines.
They are “contaminated” with ‘toxins’ at vanishingly small levels thus- **because like-cures-like- they are their own cure! Hg causes and simultaneously cures autism! The measles virus in the MMR also causes and cures autism ( AJW).
Actually, because hardly anything in the wide world is pristinely free of other substances, we could probably assert that everything is its own cause and cure. So why take supplements to replace nutrients because the paucity of nutrients in bad food actually makes the products more nutritious! Less is more. More or less.

** I am writing as though I were one of them and I am not.

@ RTContracting:
@ lilady:

That place gets worse and worse! The ingeniously inappropriatedly-named Thinking Moms’ Revolution is however, giving it a run for its money.

Here’s what worries me: if SBM and consensus psychology/ education are portrayed as the very devil, could that prevent *some* of the most adamantly committed from allowing their kids standard therapies and school-based intervention? I hope not. I know that some at AoA do both standard therapy and woo.

@ adelady: Sometimes I wonder if secretly (and not so secretly), in their minds, “stolen by the actual disease”, would be a better alternative for them.

I classify all their articles as Me, Me, Me, Me articles.

-Pity Me…my life has been ruined and, I cannot move on since my child was diagnosed as being on “the spectrum”.

-Why Me and Why Me/Religion Variant…I’m a good person, so why did THIS (my child), happen to me.

-Martyr Me…I care for my child, not for the sake of caring (and loving), but because I achieve martyrdom.

-Angry Me…I’ll stay in this state of blazing white anger forever. It justifies why I can lash out at my child(ren), the world of science and individuals who are not in lockstep with the group-think at AoA.

LW quotes Orac:

“If we allow vaccination rates to fall too much, in 2020 it’s not too far-fetched to imagine 30,000 cases a year in North America.”

…and then augustine:

“How many deaths do you predict from your breast surgery position? So do you think there will be 3,000 deaths in 2020 because of the often quoted 1 in a 1000 measles death rate?

C’mon, no fair making fun of augustine just because he overlooked a couple of silly little zeros.

It’s the thought that counts. 😉

I guess if we’re going to play the conflict of interest game, Jake and his task masters have a huge conflict of interest. If they’re able to lie their way into successfully blaming drug companies, they’ll be able to financially benefit.

in the spirit of fighting fire with fire –
a testimonial from a member of the herd for Th1Th2

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/measles/unprotected-story.htm

“Megan now knows that her son was exposed to measles during his 10-month check-up, when another mother brought her ill son into the pediatrician’s waiting room. An investigation found that the boy and his siblings had gotten measles overseas and brought it back to the United States. They had not been vaccinated.

“People who choose not to vaccinate their children actually make a choice for other children and put them at risk,” Megan explains. “At 10 months, my son was too young to get measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. But when he was 12 months old, we got him the vaccine—even though he wasn’t susceptible to measles anymore. This way, he won’t suffer from mumps or rubella, or spread them to anyone else.”

more here

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/unprotected-stories.htm

I am so sick of parents telling me they’re “terrified this rash might be measles” because of the unscientific, hyperbolic crap you and others like like you promulgate.

There are far more important medical issues–like autism, for instance.

Yet you hyper-focus, obsess, perseverate and exaggerate until you’ve convinced people that measles is the biggest medical threat we have ever faced. Nothing could be further from the truth and you know it.

It is disgusting that you have latched on to this and beat it to death. You should be ashamed of yourselves for this.

Nice straw man ya got there. No one here has claimed that measles is the biggest medical threat we have ever faced.

Feeling the heat a bit, Dr. Jay?

David, the MMWR tells us there’s been no measles in the USA for six weeks.

I haven’t seen measles in my office for at least a decade. Probably longer.

Millions of people should be worrying about nutrition to prevent chronic diseases in children, toxin exposure to prevent disease and so much more.

Instead, you enable demagoguery about measles. I am feeling no heat. Just anger at your lack of candor in discussions of real health care crises in favor of leading the mob.

Jay Gordon – “There are far more important medical issues–like autism, for instance.”

Really? Is autism more important than anything else? (talk about hyper-focused)

Have you even looked at the NSW chart lilady provided?
http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/publichealth/surveys/phb_hepb_immu.pdf

DEATHS FROM DISEASES COMMONLY VACCINATED AGAINST, AUSTRALIA 1926–2000
1 9 2 6 – 1 9 3 5 -1 1 0 2 deaths from measles
1 9 6 6 – 1 9 7 5 -1 4 6 deaths from measles
1 9 9 6 – 2 0 0 0 – 0 deaths from measles

(personally, I’d take a sick child – even a really sick one, over a dead one any day.)

So Dr. Jay, how many measles cases with accompanying disability and death are acceptable? Is it 500? Or almost 30000, with half occurring in California just a bit over twenty years ago. Over twenty children died, with millions of dollars spent on hospital care (the brunt of which was paid by Medi-Cal, using your state tax dollars).

Yet you hyper-focus, obsess, perseverate and exaggerate until you’ve convinced people that measles MMR (or thimerosal or autism) is the biggest medical threat we have ever faced.

Fixed it for you.

And you now owe us all irony meters. You could just tell us exactly how much more dangerous the MMR vaccine is compared to measles. Just post the title, journal and dates of the PubMed indexed papers to support your statements. You might also give us the cites that show autism started to increase substantially in the USA between 1971 to 1985, coinciding to the introduction of the MMR.

you are welcome. We did it so thank the secular depressives would have something to complain about.

Dr Jay:

I haven’t seen measles in my office for at least a decade. Probably longer.

Texas Sharpshooter, are you?

How far is your office from San Diego, where an unvaccinated child sparked a measles outbreak just over 4 years ago (within the decade)?

About 135 miles, is it?
Less than a three hour drive, if you can avoid peak traffic.

When are you going to admit that you’ve just been lucky?

I have read this blog for a long time, but rarely comment. Dear old Dr. Jay has compelled me to do so.

I suppose that you of all people would know “unscientific, hyperbolic crap” since that’s all that you’re capable of citing as “evidence” for your position. Thanks to people like you, I get to worry about whether or not my very-soon to be born son will contract pertussis or measles before he is old enough to be vaccinated. I do not want to see my baby hospitalized or killed because of whooping cough! You’re the one who should be ashamed. You are a vile man who puts the lives of children and immunocompromised adults at risk for the purpose of your agenda. Shame on you!

“NJ” aka Rob Hood, the mentally ill denizen of the SB:

We did it so thank the secular depressives would have something to complain about.

Gee, Rob, posting in the afternoon with my ‘nym now? You know that Orac will dump your posts as soon as he discovers them, since you can’t represent yourself honestly, let alone intelligently.

Isn’t Dr. Gordon the one who admitted that he’d had a patient with symptoms of pertussis but never tested them to see if that’s what it was?

Dr. Gordon @61:

I am so sick of parents telling me they’re “terrified this rash might be measles”

I wonder what parents those would be? Parents of his patients, maybe? Perhaps they wouldn’t be terrified that any rash might be measles if their children were, you know, vaccinated.

Drinking Water, Sanitation, Health and Disease
About 2.6 billion people – half the developing world – lack even a simple ‘improved’ latrine and 1.1 billion people has no access to any type of improved drinking source of water. As a direct consequence:
1.6 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases (including cholera) attributable to lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation and 90% of these are children under 5, mostly in developing countries;

h_ttp://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/mdg1/en/index.html

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