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Andrew Wakefield wants a “live public televised debate.” Oh, goody.

I want to thank Dan Olmsted, the editor of Age of Autism. I think.

Why do I say this? After all, Olmsted is the managing editor of perhaps the most wretched hive of antivaccine scum and quackery that I am aware of. However, he’s actually done me a favor. You see, the other day, the instigator of the U.K. anti-MMR wing of the antivaccine movement, Andrew Wakefield, posted a video to YouTube because he’s really feeling some serious butthurt right now:

Basically, it’s Andrew Wakefield complaining about being blamed for an ongoing measles outbreak in South Wales. Of course, given that, if there’s one person most responsible for causing MMR uptake in the U.K. to tank, it’s arguably Andrew Wakefield. Yes, it’s true that he didn’t do it alone. Unfortunately, he had lots of help. In particular, he had the help of Richard Horton, the editor of The Lancet who, for reasons known only to himself, decided to publish Wakefield’s crappy little case series of 12 children who were presented as evidence of a potential link between the MMR vaccine and bowel problems in autistic children in 1998. Then there was the U.K. press, which ate the story up and conspired in playing up the possibility of the MMR vaccine somehow causing or contributing to autism. then, of course, there’s the U.K. contingent of the antivaccine movement, which latched on to Wakefield’s fraudulent “science” as support for its general belief that vaccines are evil. Worse, Wakefield himself appears to have loved the attention he got as the “brave maverick doctor” who found something that The Man didn’t want him to find. Never mind that he was in the pay of a trial lawyer suing vaccine manufacturers when he did his Lancet series, as has been amply documented by Brian Deer. In the U.K. and, to a lesser extent, in the U.S., Wakefield has become a major nidus upon which antivaccine parents latch in their social networks trying to convince new parents not to vaccinate.

So why am I “thanking” Dan Olmsted? Easy. He published the transcript of Wakefield’s whiny wankfest above, so that I don’t have to watch the entire thing. Watching Wakefield’s slimy, self-serving, disingenuous verbal prestidigitation for more than a couple of minutes quite literally gives me a barfy feeling in the pit of my stomach. And for that, I think Olmsted. Of course, reading the transcript of Wakefield’s slimy, self-serving, disingenuous verbal prestidigitation is almost as bad, but at least I don’t have to look at Wakefield’s shifty visage and listen to that smug, self-satisfied voice.

Wakefield begins by saying that, really and truly, it’s not his fault that there’s been an outbreak of measles in South Wales. Don’t pay attention to the government, which apparently did link the massive decline in MMR uptake that occurred beginning in the late 1990s and early 2000s. “Don’t blame me,” Wakefield says (I’m paraphrasing). “Don’t blame me for measles outbreaks because I whipped up a fake scare and riding it to fame and infamy.”

No, Wakefield says, blame the government because it didn’t listen to me and offer the single measles vaccine instead of the triple vaccine for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR):

So, what happened subsequently. At that time the single measles vaccine, the single vaccines were available freely on the National Health Service. Otherwise, I would not have suggested that option. So parents, if they were legitimately concerned about the safety of MMR could go and get the single vaccines. Six months later the British government unilaterally withdrew the importation licence for the single vaccines therefore depriving parents of having these on the NHS; depriving parents who had legitimate concerns about the safety of MMR from a choice; denying them the opportunity to protect their children in the way that they saw fit.

And I was astonished by this and I said to Dr Elizabeth Miller of the Health Protection Agency why would you do this, if your principal concern is to protect children from serious infectious disease. Why would you remove an option from parents who are legitimately concerned about the safety of MMR. And her answer was extraordinary. She said to me if we allow parents the option of single vaccines it would destroy our MMR programme. In other words her concern, her principal concern seemed to be for protection of the MMR programme and not for protection of children.

Now, were parents concerns about the safety of MMR legitimate? Did they have a reason to be concerned? The answer is unequivocably yes.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! There have been large, well-designed epidemiological studies that have failed to find even a hint of a whiff of a correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism. In fact, of all the antivaccine “hypotheses” in which vaccines cause autism, the one that has arguably been the most thoroughly refuted by cold, hard evidence is the link between MMR and autism claimed by Wakefield and his acolytes. Indeed, as Dr. Michael Fitzgerald points out, vaccination rates plummeted as a result of the Wakefield-inspired antivaccine hysteria, leading the measles, which had been almost eliminated in Britain, to come roaring back to endemic levels by 2008. Of course, Wakefield’s attempt to weasel out of the blame that so rightly falls on his shoulder involves pointing out that MMR uptake rates have recovered and are now above 90% The problem with that retort is that there is now a large cohort of older children who were infants and toddlers around the time of the MMR scare who were never vaccinated against the measles. They are now vulnerable to the highly contagious measles virus. Herd immunity, which was degraded by the decline in MMR vaccine uptake due to the MMR-autism scare, is still degraded, as vaccine uptake has only just recovered to acceptable levels.

So let’s consider Wakefield’s self-serving, self-centered “logic,” such as it is. To him, it’s not his fault that there was an MMR scare. Never mind that there was no science behind his claims. Never mind that there was no evidence to support his claim that the MMR triple vaccine is dangerous and that the “single jab” measles vaccine was safer. As Matt Carey puts it:

Well, 15 years ago Mr. Wakefield’s team at the Royal Free Hospital released a paper which suggested a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. Mr. Wakefield did much more than suggest a link. At the press conference for the paper’s release (note that very few papers have press conferences) Mr. Wakefield called for the suspension of the MMR vaccine in favor of single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. He didn’t really explain why the single vaccine would be more safe in his mind, making it very difficult for parents to accept how the single vaccines were, in his faulty opinion, safe.

Mr. Wakefield’s current logic has it that it is the government’s fault for not allowing the importation of single vaccines. Ignore the unfounded fear that Mr. Wakefield created about measles vaccines, he asks. Blame the government. Sure the government can take some blame (anyone recall when the prime minister refused to answer whether his family used the MMR?). As does the press. But without Andrew Wakefield and his faulty assertions, there would have been no scare.

Precisely.

Now here comes the hilarious part. Those of you who’ve been regular readers know one characteristic that many cranks share, one tactic that many of them like to fall back on when they are feeling cornered. Do you know what it is? (No fair telling if you already know, having either already watched this video or heard about it on other blogs!) When I saw this part of the video, I couldn’t help but think of the famous scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, when Kirk informs Khan, “Here it comes,” except that, instead of using photon torpedos Wakefield uses bollocks as ammunition (as Tim Minchin would put it).

So here it comes:

What I’m suggesting is a formal scientific debate in public in front of an audience that is televised. And specifically Dr David Salisbury I would like to debate you because I believe you are at the heart of this matter. I believe the decisions taken by you and by your committee, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, lie at the heart of this matter.

There are many things to debate with you.

Sure there are…if you’re an antivaccine crank like Wakefield. If you’re a scientist or physician practicing science-based medicine, not so much.

So what is it about cranks and their demands for “public debates”? They especially like “televised public debates,” as Wakefield called for right now. I know I’ve asked this question many times before, but it’s a legitimate question. Cranks love public debates, and they love to challenge their perceived foes to such spectacles. Wakefield is a crank; so it’s not at all surprising that he would resort to this tactic. The reasons are obvious to those of us who are familiar with the techniques of the crank: They can Gish gallop to their hearts’ content, weaving and bobbing, zig-zagging hither, thither, and yon among cherry picked studies, evidence, and other data. This is not the first time he’s done this, either. It was only a few days ago that he posted an offer “to debate any serious challenger on MMR vaccine safety and the role of MMR in autism, live, in public, and televised.” Oh goody. I can hardly wait. Of course, as I’ve pointed out many times before, “live public debates” are singularly uninformative and almost always favor the crank or quack, which is precisely why cranks love them so.

Amusingly, if Wakefield really wanted such a public debate, he could probably have it. For instance, Michael Fitzgerald, a physician with an autistic child, has said that he would debate Wakefield. In fact, Fitzgerald even describes how serious Wakefield is when he calls for “public debates.” The answer is, not surprisingly, not serious at all:

The only occasion when Dr Wakefield has engaged in any debate on British TV came in the discussion following the broadcast of the hagiographical docudrama Hear the Silence in December 2003. Flanked by his US acolytes Jeffrey Bradstreet and Arthur Krigsman, and parent supporters, Dr Wakefield appeared assertive and defensive in response to challenges from Evan Harris (then a Liberal Democrat MP) and myself. Wakefield has subsequently restricted his public appearances to conferences of sympathetic parents, anti-vaccination activists and promoters of quack autism therapies. When I asked him a question from the floor at one such conference in Bournemouth in February 2007, he simply refused to answer, deferring to another platform speaker. When I offered to debate with him at a follow-up conference in March 2009, the organisers refused.

Does anyone think that anything different will happen. Wakefield chooses to challenge someone who he knows can’t or won’t agree to such a spectacle to a debate, safe in the knowledge that there’s no way he’ll actually have to debate. Then, when someone who knows his stuff tries to call Wakefield’s bluff and get him to debate, Wakefield makes like brave, brave Sir Robin.

Same as it ever was.

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]

658 replies on “Andrew Wakefield wants a “live public televised debate.” Oh, goody.”

Living in Swansea and overhearing much bollocks about the situation in the pub, I am most definitely going to slip “Wakefield uses bollocks as ammunition” into the next friendly debate.

Public debates around issues like this serve no purpose but to give a platform for those with no evidence or proof the opportunity to BS their way through the proceedings – since they have the latitude to not engage the actual facts, but instead rely on emotional appeals, diversions and parlor tricks to attempt to sway the audience that their “side” has the answers or at least some kind of legitimacy (I mean, seriously, watch US Presidential Debates – playing fast and loose with facts is a friggin’ rite of passage there).

Wakefield wants a debate because he already lost the Scientific Debate – he had his opportunity to defend the Science & instead, he turned and ran away.

This is exactly the same stunt he pulled when he filed his lawsuit in Texas – he doesn’t need to win, just by “showing up” he is able to continue to burnish his image with the anti-vax crowd that he is a “martyr” to the cause.

And in this case, when his call for a debate is ignored, he plays the “martyr” card again…..it is a no lose situation for him, unfortunately. Fortunately for us, more and more people are realizing just how much of a fool and charlatan he really is – so all he has left is the small cadre of anti-vax nuts that rally around him…..

The difficulty of this silliness is that Andrew Wakefield has no credentials or qualifications to plausibly debate with anybody but some other whack-job..

He claims that years ago he did a report. The number of pages varies over the years with his retellings, but what I can reveal is that he was hired to write this report, just as he was hired to research on autism, by a firm of lawyers. I even have the legal aid certificate referring to both tasks. Ultimately, court documents show him receiving £435,643, plus expenses, which was about eight times his then reported annual salary. The payments were secret (in 2004 he denied receiving personal payments).

The purpose of the report and the research was to attack MMR for a lawsuit that failed, for lack of evidence, ten years ago. Exactly the same case failed again in US federal court in 2009, with Wakefield not even called as a witness.

At the other end of the equation, he has no qualifications in any field of medicine or science which impinges on vaccination safety.

Today, having been struck from the UK medical register on grounds of dishonesty, he is not only no longer a medical practitioner (although at no time in his career did he ever have legal care of a patient), but he is formally certified as a man who does not tell the truth.

So, why would anybody wish to debate him? Given that public concern over his allegations have passed into British history, I think one would have to look quite carefully at anybody who took the view that he should be debated. What would be in it for them? What would be in it for children’s health?

If the purpose is to try to stoke the whole thing up again, then that would be Wakefield’s purpose too.

I suppose there might be some point in relentlessly laying out the documents again, in public, as occurred at his GMC hearing, but that wasn’t exactly a crowd-pleaser, and certainly nobody proposing a debate turned up to hear the evidence.

So I think the correct response to his latest delusion that he has anything to say on the matter that anybody wants to hear is: “Yeah, right.”

You’re still blaming the measles outbreak on this waste of breath? Come on…you are supposed to be a scientist. If it was Wakefield’s fault, then the MMR rates should be low. They’re the highest they’ve been in 14 years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20510525

Instead of looking for someone to blame, making the Wakefields and the McCarthys of the world into bogeymen to frighten children at night, instead do a little critical thinking and determine WHY the outbreak occurred and is spreading. It’s obviously not vaccine refusal. So what is it? Vaccine failure? New strain? Waning immunity?

@JAT – well, could it be that the age cohort that is most effected just happens to be the one right around the time that Wakefield received all of his press?

Just because immunity levels are now higher than they were before, doesn’t mean automatically that those kids are suddenly protected (because their parents didn’t get them vaccinated because of the Wakefield scare).

How’s that for a thought – perhaps you should do some real research before posting such drivel.

Couldn’t agree more with Mr Deer. Unfortunately history tells us that being proven wrong does not preclude being used as reference again, and agin.

Case in point, while almost everybody in the Bush administration has been proven wrong, if not outright deceitful (dare I say the L-word?), regarding the outlandish claims towards Iraq, you will find they nevertheless are invited to make the same nonsensical (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/ap-iran-nuclear-bomb) claims about Iran. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/09/iran?INTCMP=SRCH, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/04/resist-netanyahu-iran-hawks-push?INTCMP=SRCH )

The same can be said about any topic involving ideologues forcing their misguided views upon the world (AGW, evolution, even the financial world). For reasons that are beyond my comprehension -cue the obligatory psychiattrist- repeated incompetence never leads to lack of trust in the general population.

What do these propagandists have to do before we stop listening to them?

#4:

That’s Orac’s point, actually. Now, people are taking the vaccine again. They’ve wised up. But back when Wakefield first struck, vaccine rates plummeted–and those who didn’t get vaccinated a decade and a half ago contribute to the outbreak now. And that link you posted even says in the second paragraph that the rate is below that needed to assure herd immunity.

Just A Thought might consider thinking about how low vaccine uptake rates are in the area affected by the current measles outbreak in Wales, before trying to obfuscate the issue over how high rates are elsewhere.

The Wakefield-inspired MMR scare caused vaccine uptake to decline under 80% in some areas, even while it remained higher elsewhere in the U.K.

“We estimate that 88.6% of children born in 2000-2 had received MMR by the age of 3 and a further 2.7% had received all three of the single antigen vaccines. Although coverage is relatively high, it remains lower than the estimated level required to ensure herd immunity (over 95%), leaving a substantial proportion of children susceptible to avoidable infection susceptible to avoidable infection.

http://www.bmj.com/content/336/7647/754

Single use vaccines like the one Wakefield was trying to market? No conflict of interest there, no sir…

Just a Thought – it’s not a question of whether uptake of the vaccine is at its highest NOW. It’s whether there are a large number of children aged 10-18 who should have received the vaccine but didn’t, thanks to Wakefield’s scaremongering. You have to look at uptake levels since 1998 when the Lancet published Wakefield’s paper.

Ironic accusations of lack of critical thinking FTW…

Just a Thought,

You’re still blaming the measles outbreak on this waste of breath? Come on…you are supposed to be a scientist. If it was Wakefield’s fault, then the MMR rates should be low. They’re the highest they’ve been in 14 years.

Did you even read the article you linked to? “MMR vaccine coverage has reached its highest level in 14 years in young children” (my emphasis). It’s the children who didn’t get the MMR 15 years ago, because of the Wakefield scare, who are the victims of these outbreaks. Twit.

Just A Thought – how about you re-read the post (or read it period, as your comment suggests you didn’t bother) and pay careful attention to paragraph 6 (underneath the first set of blockquotes). The answer is there. Prat.

That orchestra of tiny violin players must be getting really worn out playing “Fakefield’s Lament” over and over again.

Fakers doesn’t really want to debate anybody, this is a shiny object for what’s left of his deluded fan club. When no one takes him up on it, he can play the old “they’re afraid of the truth!” gambit.

I think Wakefield should have a public debate – with Jake. MMR vs. thimerosal – the important question finally answered.

“Mr. Wakefield called for the suspension of the MMR vaccine in favor of single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. He didn’t really explain why the single vaccine would be more safe in his mind”

Agree–this is something I’ve never understood. Even IF Wakefield’s research had been legitimate, and “autistic enterocolitis” was induced by measles-vaccine virus in the gut (which–just to make crystal clear–has been thoroughly disproven)–why would anyone think measles vaccine without mumps and rubella would be any safer whatsoever? Wakefield’s paper never addressed the mumps and rubella–it was always about the measles.

I’ll just parrot what others have said to “critical-thinker” Just a Thought and that is MMR uptake fell below herd immunity threshold and created clusters of susceptibles after Wankfield”s bogus Lancet paper and all of his press conferences along with dodgy media reports. Uptake has been recovering in younger children, not the children who were originally unvaccinated. It’s not vaccine failure; it’s failure to get the vaccine you freakin tosser.

@ Mu

I think Wakefield should have a public debate – with Jake. MMR vs. thimerosal – the important question finally answered.

Good idea! In fact, they should have a tournament with enny McCarthy and Rob Schneider as the moderators/sideshow act. Bob Sears and Jay Gordon could debate “too many too soon” and the winners would go to a final debate to determine what the One True Cause of vaccine damage is.

I actually watched the entire charade the other night.. the things I do for the cause!

AJW’s presentation so fits in with our other current discussion about the AoA crowd’s remarks about our most esteemed and gracious host- so much is dependent upon what the speaker looks and sounds like, not upon what is said. I’ve also commented about the developmental significance of this phenomenon.

Andy is master of artificiality here and as Lawrence notes, in debates, facts can be secondary to appearances.

We can all gag on AJW’s feigned sincerity I suppose. He’s a SALESMAN and like other woo-meisters, he has to sell himself as well as products ( in his case, probably books, lectures and services), thus each appearance is a finely honed, rehearsed performance complete with direct gazes into the camera and measured, calming, melodious tones.

Believe me, there are studies that minutely dissect exactly what a ‘winning’ performance entails and it’s not just psychologists who are interested in this but business people and politicians as well. I could tell you stories about various businessmen in my life and their efforts to please customers and mirrors.

Listen carefully to alt media prevaricators and you’ll hear the same cadences and same quiet determination as that which AJW displays: it’s also quite common in television advertisement, telling you how much you really need their spectacular, unequivocably essential products.

In case you missed it the other night, I called botox and hair tinting on Andy- not that there’s anything wrong with those procedures- BUT it shows to what lengths he’ll go in order to make an impression on the faithful.

Putting up a good front for the superficialistas.

A debate would be fine, as long as it allocates time and representation in proportion to the weight of evidence. Wakefield would get just long enough to open his mouth before time pressure forced him to yield to the thousands of massively better qualified scientists on the other side.

But televised debates never quite work that way.

I remember headdesking over one crank who wanted public debates because “there’s nowhere to hide.” Don’t remember if it was a Creationist or an anti-vaxxer. I had to point out the obvious: Public verbal debates allow cranks to hide behind the clock, whether they fill the time with Gish Gallops or if their opponent has to pause to look up something.

Written debates with no time limits don’t have that huge hiding spot.

Who, exactly, was supposed to pay for this “live, televised debate”?

I’m inclined to believe that Mr. Wakefield was not volunteering to purchase 30 minutes or more of air time.

His idea of a “scientific” debate has morphed into a policy debate, where he wants his supporter base to believe he would attack Dr. Salisbury. It’s a classic publicity stunt–he gets to in efffect create a faux debate for his readership by posing his questions while not exposing himself to the downside of an actual science discussion with a well-informed Mike Fitzpatrick. He gets to present himself as somehow on an equal footing with Dr. Salisbury,

It is so transparent. And yet it sells to his target audience. But that has always been the case.

Perhaps Wakefield could rent another “shed in a park” for his self-styled *debate*?

http://lacrossetribune.com/news/opinion/michael-winfrey-former-doctor-was-not-invited-to-uw-l/article_77a7ee6a-13ea-11e2-9389-001a4bcf887a.html

“October 12, 2012 12:15 am • By Michael Winfrey | Arcadia”

“I chaired the Distinguished Lectures in the Life Sciences committee that brought Brian Deer to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse earlier this month.

The purpose of this series is to bring in a scientist who has made exceptional contributions to the life sciences. For the first time, we invited an award—winning journalist rather than a scientist.

This year we invited a journalist who exposed a grievous scientific fraud by a former British doctor. The former doctor, who was found guilty of this fraud by two prestigious medical journals and the British General Medical Council, invited himself and complained that he was not invited to debate Deer.

We did this because Deer’s investigations reversed an alarming trend of decreased vaccination of children in the United States and worldwide. Deer’s exposure of fraud also provides a clear example of the consequences of fraudulent science and the challenges faced by a public increasingly inundated with alarmist studies.

It’s unfortunate that the Tribune chose to promote this as a “debate” in its Sept. 30 article, which led to the misconception that the university was hosting a debate between two opposing views.

This series does not organize debates. We invite distinguished scientists (or in this case a journalist) whose findings have not only had a significant impact on science and society but also whose work is widely accepted by the scientific community.

There are many topics worthy of debates. Whether a vaccine is the cause of autism is not among them.”

There is always the “Autism Media Channel” that is owned by Wakefield and Polly Tommey, which could tape the “debate” and broadcast it.

The question still remains who will Andy debate? I suggest that the foremost experts in childhood vaccines, Dr. Jay and Dr. Bob debate Andy. “Debate” moderator could be Jake Crosby (Because of his *excellent* debating skills and his public speaking extraordinary “eloquence” .)

So when is Andy going to publish his 200 page “report” on the internet? Is he still waiting for his lawyers to approve the context?

And it was held in the appropriate forum, peer-reviewed scientific journals.

He lost.

I saw Duane Gish give a lecture (without an opponent) and I saw his colleague Henry Morris in debate with a professor from Indiana University — both of these events in the 1980s. It’s true (as I have written on RI previously) that Gish was a remarkable liar, going from one misrepresentation to another at the speed of sound. He also managed to twist some unremarkable scientific facts into superficially damning critiques of science based conclusions.

Overall, I would characterize the two performances as something akin to what a fictional lawyer does in a book about a trial — try to raise unreasonable doubt and get away with it.

One thing that became more and more obvious about the Gish performance was that he didn’t actually discuss the observations and calculations underlying evolution. Instead, he mentioned other people, implying that they were experts on one thing or another, and pointing obliquely at their arguments and conclusions.

In other words, it was a long exercise in argument from authority, rather than argument from facts and logic.

Morris, by the way, was a little more on point, probably because there was someone there to refute him, but when he trotted out an argument about the laws of thermodynamics pointing to decreasing information (ie: devolution rather than evolution), the opposition pretty much dropped the ball. There is an easy refutation to this argument that actually explains a little about how evolution works at the microbial level, is convincing, and involves the slight imperfection in the DNA replication system.

In other words, guys like Gish and Morris didn’t really debate in the sense that a true debate competition would demand. You could expect the anti-vaccine side to go with the same technique of argument from authority, just as the global warming denialists do nowadays. The anti vaccines folks will trot out numerous studies and papers that bear tangentially on the topic, one or two studies (such as the Wakefield paper in Lancet) that the field now rejects but the television audience never read, and a lot of hand waving about caring about the damaged children as opposed to the cold hearted scientists who want to test their experimental poisons on an innocent population etc etc.

The technique that commenters use on RI, namely to demand that the opposition prove its own case rather than merely take pot shots at the current scientific view, is not all that applicable to a televised debate, just as it isn’t always applicable when prosecuting a defendant in front of a jury. The anti-vaccine people don’t need to prove that vaccines cause injuries (although they will pound on the temporary side effects seen in some children from one or two vaccines), they just need to raise doubt that vaccines are one hundred point zero zero zero percent safe for all children of all ages.

The counter argument based on truth is that vaccines are pretty good most of the time, and for some truly horrendous diseases such as diptheria, smallpox, polio, rabies, etc, they have been miraculous. That won’t satisfy a few people who are convinced based on emotional need that their child is disabled due to an injection.

One way around this would be to create a panel of perhaps 4 or 5 real scientists and invite Wakefield to join them, making sure that Wakefield was speaker number 3 out of the 5. Then, Wakefield can try to play at Rumpole, but instead of getting to rig things his way, they will be set up to reveal the truth in advance of his comments, and allow for rebuttal afterwards.

[email protected] – haha, good idea.

“Coming soon on the Autism Media Channel, a live pay-per-view (because mansions in Austin don’t pay for themselves): Vax Quacks at the Gun Shack!”

@Just A Thought

Re: The Swansea Measles Outbreak

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health estimate that there are currently 1 million unprotected children of secondary school age (11-18) in the UK as a result of Wakefield’s self-serving antics.

The fact that the Swansea outbreak of (to date) c. 850 infections has been contained (so far) to that area is nigh on miraculous, but with the new school semester just begun, the problem could get a LOT worse.

think Wakefield should have a public debate – with Jake. MMR vs. thimerosal – the important question finally answered.

Heh, when I saw the post, my first thought was that it should be against Jay “flame retardant pajamas” Gordon. The idea stands – better that he debate someone on his own level.

When asked about the effect of his paper on vaccine uptake rates at the GMC hearing,

Do you have any observations to make about your position in relation to the apparent juxtaposition of the paper, the press conference, and a reduction in take-up rates?

Andrew Wakefield’s response stated that the withdrawl of the Urabe strain MMR vaccine caused some drop in uptake and, further,

. I have no doubt that that decline was exacerbated by the publication of this paper.

Day 55 of the GMC hearing.
http://wakefieldgmctranscripts.blogspot.com/2012/02/day-55-gmc-fitness-to-practice-hearing.html

But now we are to believe his paper and his statements had no effect?

By the way, I happened on that while searching to see how Mr. Wakefield approached the Urabe strain mumps component question during the GMC hearing. This response contains his only mention of Urabe. Interesting, since this is supposedly such a major defense now.

Currently I’m within two hours drive of the Swansea measles outbreak, and as an immunosuppressed individual I’m crossing my fingers and hoping like crazy that it doesn’t spread. However does anyone know what you’re supposed to do if you do get measles, or what the infectious period is? I haven’t actually heard anyone give advice on what you’re supposed to do if you get it.

Matt Carey:

This response contains his only mention of Urabe. Interesting, since this is supposedly such a major defense now.

Which is bizarre because Wakefield did not post in his Lancet article which of the three UK MMR vaccines the kids had. Plus if the issue was the Urabe mumps component, then there would not have been an American child among the twelve (the American MMR has always had Jeryl Lynn mumps strain). Nor would there have been UK children born after 1991, since both UK MMR vaccines with Urabe were removed in 1992.

It sounds like a bit of back peddling.

IIRC Wakefield et al. squandered the legal aid funds that could have been used to help the children who really were injured by the Urabe component of the MMR before it was removed in the UK.

well, could it be that the age cohort that is most effected just happens to be the one right around the time that Wakefield received all of his press?

Rather easily confirmed by comparing the uptake data with the current incidence data.

Liz,

However does anyone know what you’re supposed to do if you do get measles, or what the infectious period is? I haven’t actually heard anyone give advice on what you’re supposed to do if you get it.

IANAD but given your circumstances I suggest you look into getting an injection of normal human immmunoglobulins, that should protect you from measles – your local HPA or microbiology laboratory should have a stock, talk to your GP. Also be aware that if you lack cell-mediated immunity you may not develop the characteristic rash. here’s a good article on measles and its complications.

It sickens me that there was someone commenting on the BBC website the other day, on the very story about the measles outbreak, that the whole problem was down to ineffective MMR vaccines, and that they all should have been allowed the single measles vaccine and then everything would have been fine and that incidentally Wakefield was right all along.

When pushed he insisted that the paper was pulled from the Lancet and St. Andy was struck from the medical register because they didn’t like his techniques, not because he was wrong in any way. Any day now the groundbreaking research coming out of the US that proved it all was going to be published.

When pushed further a lot of shouting happened, but no links to research or names of papers or even researchers, only complaints that I wasn’t a medical professional and clearly hadn’t seen all the ‘new evidence’.

These people are everywhere, and they are the reason all these kids are suffering and ending up in hosptial. They should be ashamed of themselves but instead they just keep on with the same old carp.

You have to register to read the page about immunoglobulins I linked to above. This might be relevant to elburto given her situation and location. Here’s the relevant information (UK only):

Measles

Intravenous or subcutaneous normal immunoglobulin may be given to prevent or attenuate an attack of measles in individuals who do not have adequate immunity. Children and adults with compromised immunity who have come into contact with measles should receive intravenous or subcutaneous normal immunoglobulin as soon as possible after exposure. It is most effective if given within 72 hours but can be effective if given within 6 days.

Subcutaneous or intramuscular normal immunoglobulin should also be considered for the following individuals if they have been in contact with a confirmed case of measles or with a person associated with a local outbreak:

non-immune pregnant women;

infants under 9 months.

Further advice should be sought from the Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency (tel. (020) 8200 6868).

Thank you Krebiozen, your first link was really useful and I hadn’t realised I may not develop the characteristic rash. With regards to the immunoglobulin, to be honest I have no idea whether that would work or not – I’m immunosuppressed on the basis of having a liver transplant (well, three actually…), so I’m not sure whether injecting antibodies should be combined with immunosuppressants. It seems that one might cancel out the other, to a certain extent. (Starting to wish I had a degree in biology or medicine, since it would be really useful in analysing my own healthcare these days.) However it is definitely nice to know that there’s options available if I were to contract measles; it seems that the benefit would outweigh the risk in those situations. Thanks 🙂

@Liz – best of luck to you. You are one of the people that the anti-vax community conveniently ignores when something like this happens – hopefully the spread of the disease can be controlled and contained…..

OT : but when are [email protected] alt media dissections of SBM, sceptics, militant atheists and rampant materialists EVER truly OT @ RI, I ask you?**

Taped inteview with Rupert Sheldrake on today’s Gary Null Show, Progressive Radio Network – about 24-25 minutes in- to end; @ 39 minutes in, said supporters of SBM, sceptics, militant atheists and materialists including our own esteemed host ( as DG) are put under the microscope. It seems that now Sheldrake is investigating the investigators or suchlike. Quite an unseemly bunch, we’re told.

Quake in your boots, sceptics, militant atheists and materialists!
I’m quaking in mine!***

** neatly demonstrating what those who debate alt med prevaricators are up against!
*** not really.

@Liz

Hope you remain safe and that they can get this outbreak under control. Even with the information others have provided here, I’d highly recommend getting in to talk with your GP about your situation and concerns about the outbreak.

@ Liz: Here’s the NHS measles case surveillance guideline. It appears to me that the response to a single measles case, cluster or outbreak of measles is quite *different* from the response to measles cases here in the United States.

http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1274088429847

If you scroll down you will see a section that Krebiozen referred to, for “post exposure prophylaxis” for “at high risk” people, either in the form of an IGG shot or a measles vaccine…depending on your particular immune suppression or your immune compromising condition and, on length of time since the exposure took place.

Here’s a link to guidelines from the UCSF Liver Transplant Unit on receiving vaccines (page 28), and POST LIVER TRANSPLANT PATIENTS SHOULD NOT RECEIVE ANY LIVE VACCINES (measles, mumps rubella, varicella or live intranasal influenza seasonal flu vaccines) after liver transplants.

http://www.ucsfhealth.org/pdf/liver_transplant_manual.pdf

Thanks again to Dr. Wakefield for putting Elburto, Liz and other vulnerable children and adults, whose health is in peril because of your “study” and your activities since you lost your medical license.

If you watch the video at about 4:20, he talks about the information he got from Alistar Torres, the “whistleblower” who informed him about the Urabe strain vaccine.

At about 6:30, he states (after adding more information) along the lines that it was with that information about the practices of the joint committee on vaccination that he took the stand he took on MMR.

Except that he didn’t speak with the whistleblower until after the Lancet study was published. His own book states that Dawborns (the legal firm heading up the MMR cases) was contacted in April of 1998, two months after the Lancet study was published.

As already noted, in his GMC hearing he only mentioned Urabe once. He apparently didn’t consider it a major factor in his decision making process then, and now it is a primary factor.

He also misrepresnts the Hannah Poling case. The government states clearly that they did not concede that vaccines resulted in autism. Also, Hannah Poling was a thimerosal test case, not an MMR test case.

@Narad I’m having trouble interpreting the data in the pages you’ve cited. I’d appreciate help from Ren or others.

I read “Just a Thought” as being just as critical and disdainful of Dr. Wakefield and his findings as everyone else here is. Clearly no one else saw him/her that way.

I look forward to your interpretation of the data Narad has directed me to.

Thanks.

Jay

JAT the Pratt – the outbreak I’m slap bang in the middle of is affecting kids aged between 10 and 14, the “lost generation”.

Liz – best of luck to you. My area’s suffering an outbreak that’s pretty much being ignored by the media, to the point that a call to the GP surgery about it got nothing but a “You wha’?” from the receptionist.

Krebiozen – That info’s really helpful, thank you. Although prn was super helpful with his “Stop whining, and visit the Quack Shack. My regimen of IV vitamin C and [unknown delivery method] of B12 will do the trick”. I think you might have a slight edge over him though.

a link to make you all furious: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100211189/neals-yard-promotes-homeopathy-for-measles-this-could-kill-real-children/

I feel dirty for linking to the Torygraph, but it’s for a good cause.

And about the outbreak up here: http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/lifestyle/health/life-fitness/measles-jabs-for-schools-to-stop-outbreak-1-5589060

17% needing hospital treatment? Thanks Snakefield, you disgusting waste of DNA.

and one that has seriously upset me, as my colleagues and I helped in the drive for this little lad’s transplant:

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/2013/04/15/liver-transplant-boy-lennox-nicholson-contracts-measles-84229-33175902/

I could fvcking puke blood I’m so angry, especially at the suggestion by Wankfield in this very post, that the NHS caused the problem by not offering the single measles component as recommended by him.

Anyone got any decent at-home protocols for someone coming into a house with someone immune compromised and unvaccinated, if there’s a risk they may have been exposed during the day? Or, is it just a case of crossing fingers and hoping that it passes over?

Also, Liz, avoid all adolescents. The best of luck to you.

Always good advice.

[resubmitted with mangled links]

JAT the Pratt – the outbreak I’m slap bang in the middle of is affecting kids aged between 10 and 14, the “lost generation”.

Liz – best of luck to you. My area’s suffering an outbreak that’s pretty much being ignored by the media, to the point that a call to the GP surgery about it got nothing but a “You wha’?” from the receptionist.

Krebiozen – That info’s really helpful, thank you. Although prn was super helpful with his “Stop whining, and visit the Quack Shack. My regimen of IV vitamin C and [unknown delivery method] of B12 will do the trick”. I think you might have a slight edge over him though.

a link to make you all furious:

blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100211189/neals-yard-promotes-homeopathy-for-measles-this-could-kill-real-children/

I feel dirty for linking to the Torygraph, but it’s for a good cause.

And about the outbreak up here: hartlepoolmail.co.uk/lifestyle/health/life-fitness/measles-jabs-for-schools-to-stop-outbreak-1-5589060

17% needing hospital treatment? Thanks Snakefield, you disgusting waste of DNA.

and one that has seriously upset me, as my colleagues and I helped in the drive for this little lad’s transplant:

gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/2013/04/15/liver-transplant-boy-lennox-nicholson-contracts-measles-84229-33175902/

I could fvcking puke blood I’m so angry, especially at the suggestion by Wankfield in this very post, that the NHS caused the problem by not offering the single measles component as recommended by him.

Anyone got any decent at-home protocols for someone coming into a house with someone immune compromised and unvaccinated, if there’s a risk they may have been exposed during the day? Or, is it just a case of crossing fingers and hoping that it passes over?

@ Dr Jay:

I read JAT as disliking Wakefield but NOT attributing the current situation to him. Most of us probably see him as – at the very least- partially to blame.

Liz,

With regards to the immunoglobulin, to be honest I have no idea whether that would work or not – I’m immunosuppressed on the basis of having a liver transplant (well, three actually…), so I’m not sure whether injecting antibodies should be combined with immunosuppressants.

Again IANAD, but I can see no reason immunoglobulins would be contraindicated if you are on immunosuppressants – it’s an immune reaction against the transplanted liver that is the aim of the immunosupressants, and the lack of response against measles is an unfortunate side effect that could be rectified by administering antibodies made by someone else.

BTW I worked at Addenbrookes in Cambridge throughout the 80s when Professor Roy Calne was pioneering the use of cyclosporin in liver transplants. I admit to feeling a little glow of pride at having played a tiny part their development whenever I hear of someone who has a new liver, such as yourself.

Dr. Jay:

Narad I’m having trouble interpreting the data in the pages you’ve cited. I’d appreciate help from Ren or others.

That is another reason why you should not be writing about vaccines, immunology and telling future parents “how to avoid autism.” And, no, I will not help you.

Ah, avoiding adolescents is one of the things that makes being bedbound great. If I ever hear “Missus, will yer gerruz some tabs out the shop? Ere’s a fiver ahll ‘ave ten bennies””* again, it will be too soon.

*English translation – “Excuse me madam, would you mind (illegally) purchasing some cigarettes for me? I have five pounds of the Realm to exchange for a ten pack of Benson and Hedges”

elburto,

Anyone got any decent at-home protocols for someone coming into a house with someone immune compromised and unvaccinated, if there’s a risk they may have been exposed during the day? Or, is it just a case of crossing fingers and hoping that it passes over?

Measles is a bastard as it’s contagious for a few days before it shows any distinctive symptoms – it starts with coughing and sneezing just like a cold. I would talk to your GP about prophylactic immunoglobulins, seriously. I assume the other mrs elburto is fully vaccinated, so she should be safe if she washes her hands thoroughly as soon as she walks through the door, before touching you or anything you might touch. Make any visitors wash their hands and wear a mask – I’m sure your partner could pick some disposable ones up either at work (isn’t she a nurse?) or I believe chemists stock them. It might seem a bit OTT but it’s not worth risking your life to avoid seeming paranoid.

I’m lost for words about the kid with the liver transplant contracting measles; all I can say is I’m glad he pulled through. With figures heading for the 1000 mark, we will almost certainly see deaths.

Wales has a population of three million people. Here is the breakdown of children ages 2-18 who are unvaccinated or who are undervaccinated for measles (November, 2012 figures)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22156006

Dr. Jay, are you recommended MMR vaccines for the children in your practice who are traveling to the U.K. and to Europe, where measles is endemic?

Kreb – I’m gutted about Lennox. That kid has had a lifetime of pain and hospitals already. His mam is such a lovely woman, and this is just one more shovel full of guano heaped on her.

Dr Jay – surely you’re up to interpreting datasets? Given that you’ve expounded on various theories over the years, written books, given speeches etc., about VPDs , you’ve surely had plenty of experience with reading and examining epidemiological data?

@lilady – I think we’ve seen that many anti-vaxxers believe that immunocompromised people are a detriment to the gene pool. To a lot of them measles is just a natural disinfectant.

Oh and Krebiozen – thanks for the advice. OME is fully vaccinated, and thanks to my little vomiting-when-I-smell-cigarette-smoke habit, she already goes straight upstairs, changes her clothes and washes thoroughly before coming back downstairs to where we’re currently “living”. She doesn’t smoke herself, but her company has handily placed the new “smoke cabins” next to her parking area.

She used to use masks during a particularly bad IBD flare I had. Then one day she threw up with one on, and now refers to them as “puke traps”. The woman is a saint. When I worked for the NHS she used to say “I couldn’t do it, nope, tech support won’t lead to me accidentally killing anyone or throwing up on them”. For her to become a carer virtually overnight has been a testament to how fab she is.

Oh and as far as she’s concerned, there’s no such thing as “too paranoid” in disease protection! Her last cold coincided with a month-long course of prednisolone, and she’s threatened to wrap sick colleagues in clingfilm in future.

Thanks for the link lilady. As we all know, the second measles vaccine is not really a “booster” dose like the repeated DTaP shots, but instead an acknowledgment that about 10% of vaccine recipients do not acquire immunity after the first MMR. Of course there’s no way of knowing the titers of the group who received only one vaccine. Or, for that matter, knowing the titers of those who received both doses. That would be valuable.

Yes, lilady, I’ve been giving more MMR vaccines than usual.

Chris, I believe you also can’t interpret the data so you were stuck with the answer you’ve given me. Anyone else, please?

Jay

I thought the second MMR vaccine was given due to fading immunity in older children. This led to outbreaks in the US in the early 1990’s (I believe in the UK as well). These outbreaks led to the second dose of the MMR.

I.e. I think these are boosters.

I.e. I think these are boosters.

It’s both actually, a booster and to capture those who didn’t respond to the first (which is ~5%). The epidemiology of measles after the uptake of the second dose was sufficiently high speaks for itself.

Dr. Jay, with a high uptake of two doses of MMR, we have eliminated indigenous measles and rubella cases. A four year old with a protective titre may not necessarily have one at ten. But that’s what “vaccine friendly” doctors like you and Dr. Bob omit to tell your patients, or are simply ignorant of that.

Actually, I can interpret it, Dr. Jay. I just don’t respect you and think you are causing harm with your writings, especially your most recent book.

Matt Carey, I believe it was a bit of both. There may have been fading immunity in some, but also the 90% effectiveness is not good for a disease that is so contagious. The second dose gets it up to about 99% effectiveness. (sorry, Dr. Jay, nothing is perfect)

At first the second MMR was give to children leaving elementary school and entering middle school, but was later changed to those entering kindergarten. I remember because my oldest got it at age eleven, but my other two were aged about seven and four. It was shortly before the timing of the second dose happened. I brought the two younger in for a second MMR because there was a measles outbreak in a private school that was too close for comfort to our neighborhood.

Correction because of fading memory: I remember because my oldest got it at age ten or eleven, but my other two were aged about nine and five.

As we all know, the second measles vaccine is not really a “booster” dose like the repeated DTaP shots, but instead an acknowledgment that about 10% of vaccine recipients do not acquire immunity after the first MMR.

In those who did not react, it’s not even odds that it will react. In those who did, it’s almost certain that it will be a booster, from an immunological point of view. If I remember correctly, and you’ll have to forgive me (I don’t write books on the matter, nor give speeches; My thing is surveillance and epi), the reason the second dose was recommended was the acknowledgement that the “not even odds” that I mentioned was better than zero odds. So they recommended the second vaccine to make a best effort to immunize that small minority who didn’t convert in order to increase the number/proportion of those immune. Again, it was a while ago. I was a 16 year-old in college who had “better” things to worry about.

Of course there’s no way of knowing the titers of the group who received only one vaccine. Or, for that matter, knowing the titers of those who received both doses. That would be valuable.

If I may inform the doctor, there are plenty of studies where seroconversion is studied after one, two, or three MMR rounds. Yes, three… Sometimes there is an outbreak in a population that has two MMR doses but hasn’t seen measles or mumps (immunologically) in about 15+ years, so a third dose is given. This is a product of vaccine success, actually… Like shingles.

HERE they did it with mumps.

HERE they did it for all three viruses, with immunogenic persistence against Rubella being 100% after a long, long time. Thank God. I’ve seen a child with congenital Rubella. I don’t wish that horror on my worst enemy.

As for interpreting data, Dr. Jay. I’ll do it eventually and if I get around to it. I’m a bit busy, you see.

It’s obviously not vaccine refusal. So what is it? Vaccine failure? New strain? Waning immunity?

No, it’s vaccine refusal. You need a high level of herd immunity for measles. It’s infectious as I’ll get out. Remember, vaccine uptake is not the same as immunity. So, if you need 90% of immunity against measles to have herd immunity, but, say 92% uptake, and 3% of those fail, then you’re down to 89% immunity, which is no herd immunity.

New strain? Ha! Measles is incredibly stable when it comes to mutations. They have to really coax it in the lab to mutate.

Waning immunity? I covered that in my response to Dr. Jay.

I’m having trouble interpreting the data in the pages you’ve cited. I’d appreciate help from Ren or others.

THIS PAGE tells us vaccine uptake data. Note the age groups where uptake is lower than the ideal 90% for herd immunity. They’re the “MMR” ones with red bars: 2 doses by age 5 and 2 doses by age 16. (For those of you keeping score at home, Andy’s paper was published about 14 years ago.) Even the one dose MMR by age 16 is kind of low. (Read my comments above about percentages and what nots.)

THIS PAGE tells us what’s going on in the Wales outbreak. Under “Notifications of measles in Wales by age,” we can see what age groups make up most of the cases. Personally, I’m not surprised. It’s the same age spread seen in other outbreaks. That is, the unvaccinated or under vaccinated age groups make up most of the cases.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this… Which is good, because I don’t think there’s a rocket scientist around.

@sciencemom: Actually, the MMR vaccine probably does confer lifelong immunity when it takes. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/mmr-questions-answers.aspx#lifetimeimmunity

@Chris: The datasets are not clear at all. If you can interpret them, please do.

Rene’, what I said was there was nothing in the articles cited mentioning the titers in the different groups studied. And unlike pertactin negative B. pertussis, I’m unaware of new measles strains. Perhaps better diagnosis and more robust reporting of measles cases have created apparent increase in cases. Just as is alleged to have occurred with the huge increase in ASD diagnoses.

Jay

Ren:

Yes, three… Sometimes there is an outbreak in a population that has two MMR doses but hasn’t seen measles or mumps (immunologically) in about 15+ years, so a third dose is given.

If my daughter had been accepted to UC Berkeley, I would have had her get a third MMR due to a recent mumps outbreak there. Fortunately it was her second choice, and she gets to live at home and attend a very good university in town.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this… Which is good, because I don’t think there’s a rocket scientist around

Does it help that I used to be one? I have a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics. While my last few years of work was mostly the random vibration behavior of landing gear, I did work for the MX missile program as a new hire. It was mostly how to protect them when they were in their little houses, but I did get to do sound energy profiles for some scenarios.

This means, Dr. Jay, I know lots more math than you (Euler, Fourier. Laplace and Dirac are not just random names to me!). I had to quit work to deal with a baby who had medical issues. One of those included only being given the DT vaccine, not the DTP, at a time when our county had a pertussis epidemic (thanks Vashon Island and Barbara Loe Fisher!).

Dr. Jay:

The datasets are not clear at all. If you can interpret them, please do.

What part of “I will not help you” do you not understand. I do not respect you, and I think you are a cause of much harm, especially with your last book.

Perhaps better diagnosis and more robust reporting of measles cases have created apparent increase in cases. Just as is alleged to have occurred with the huge increase in ASD diagnoses.

With all due respect, Dr. Jay, put a sock in it.

We have objective, lab-based methods of diagnosing measles. Kids with fever and a rash are not diagnosed as having measles until blood tests or viral cultures (or PCR) are done. This is not the same with autism, AND YOU GODDAMN KNOW IT. There is no spectrum of measles. There IS a spectrum of autism. Children die from measles. Children don’t die from autism.

For you to continue this mocking of something so serious is an affront to everything that medicine and public health stand for. Have you no shame?

Rene’ I’ve looked harder at the page. 16 yr olds had one dose at a rate of 91% The drop of to 82.4% for two doses is accounted for by the fact that the second (kindergarten dose) may not have been recommended strongly back then. I really don’t know. Those 16 year olds actually had higher coverage than the five year olds.

On that second page, “Wales by age” the majority of cases I don’t see the strong correlation you mention above. Although it would certainly make sense that unvaccinated people would get measles more readily than vaccinated kids.

Rene’, no mockery was intended. Measles doesn’t always get reported any more many other childhood diseases do. With all due respect, I’m guessing that far from every case of measles had laboratory confirmation, and you damn well know that.

“However, due to the high numbers of notifications reported during an outbreak, it is possible that not all clinically-diagnosed cases will undergo subsequent laboratory testing. It is probable that not all cases notified on the basis of clinical symptoms will be due to measles infection and this maybe true especially for notifications from outside the outbreak area.”

http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/66389

http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/66389

With all due respect, no mockery was intended. Measles and other childhood diseases are reported at a greater rate during an outbreak. You damn well know that. Lab conformation was not required.

” Usually, a notification of measles is laboratory confirmed (or not) by sending a sample for virological testing. However, due to the high numbers of notifications reported during an outbreak, it is possible that not all clinically-diagnosed cases will undergo subsequent laboratory testing. It is probable that not all cases notified on the basis of clinical symptoms will be due to measles infection and this maybe true especially for notifications from outside the outbreak area.”

My comment has been wiped out three times now.

With all due respect, Rene’, measles and other childhood diseases are reported at higher rates during and outbreak and you damn well know that!

” Usually, a notification of measles is laboratory confirmed (or not) by sending a sample for virological testing. However, due to the high numbers of notifications reported during an outbreak, it is possible that not all clinically-diagnosed cases will undergo subsequent laboratory testing. It is probable that not all cases notified on the basis of clinical symptoms will be due to measles infection and this maybe true especially for notifications from outside the outbreak area.”

http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/66389

With all due respect, I’m guessing that far from every case of measles had laboratory confirmation, and you damn well know that.

No need to guess, doctor. That’s how outbreaks are managed. A person with a fever and a rash that is epi-linked to a confirmed case of measles is called a case until lab testing says otherwise. A person with a fever and a rash that is not epi-linked is not a case of measles, or even considered a suspect case.

I explained this to you in one of the Epi Night School lessons, the one in which you mocked the measles outbreak in Minnesotta because, as best as I can infer, you don’t have a heart.

Then again, it’s all “statistical porn,” isn’t it, doctor? In your happy, little, Brady-bunch-oriented world, you probably salivate at the idea that there is no outbreak of measles and it’s all a happy accident, a “random event” as you’ve called so many outbreaks. Have you seen a child with SSPE in your long and distinguished career? Does it scare you that, by statistical porn alone, at least one of the kids in Wales will develop it, and that it could have been prevented?

Or do you smile at the thought?

My comment has been wiped out three times now.

With all due respect, Rene’, measles and other childhood diseases are reported at higher rates during and outbreak and you damn well know that!

” Usually, a notification of measles is laboratory confirmed (or not) by sending a sample for virological testing. However, due to the high numbers of notifications reported during an outbreak, it is possible that not all clinically-diagnosed cases will undergo subsequent laboratory testing. It is probable that not all cases notified on the basis of clinical symptoms will be due to measles infection and this maybe true especially for notifications from outside the outbreak area.”

http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/66389

And, by the way, your “tetchiness” and anger about infectious diseases is only exceeded by my parallel feeling about autism spectrum disorders and their affect on millions of families.

I guess I have to be more patient with this site. Sorry for the near duplicate posts.

And, by the way, Rene’, your “tetchiness” and anger about infectious diseases is only exceeded by my parallel feeling about autism spectrum disorders and their affect on millions of families.

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