Measles rising thanks to MMR/autism idiots

29 Nov

There’s a whole bunch of flat-earthers who insist despite all scientific evidence – both epidemiological and clinical – to the contrary that MMR causes autism. Jenny McCarthy for example.

In the UK this belief started 10 years ago thanks to the pomposity of Andrew Wakefield’s grandstanding and utterly fact-free press conferences insinuating a link between MMR and autism. Being of a generous nature, Wakefield decided to share his wisdom with America – this means that the Americans can look forward to sharing in the good tidings:

Fears that up to 100,000 children in England could be infected with measles in a major epidemic were raised today after government figures showed a sharp rise in cases of the disease.

The number of measles cases in England and Wales so far this year has exceeded 1,000 for the first time since 1995, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

But so what right? Measles is nothing!

One in 2,500-5,000: Death
One in 10: Hospital treatment
One in 1,000: Meningitis

So, no. Measles isn’t ‘nothing’ its a disease that 10% of the time hospitalises people at the very least.

Lets be absolutely clear what the MMR/autism flat-earthers are doing here. By living in denial about the science that has clearly established no link between the measles component of MMR and recommending ‘spacing out’ vaccine schedules, or not having the measles component at all and going with an ‘alternative’ vaccine schedule these idiots are directly placing your child and you in the firing line of what is a fatal disease.

If your child has not been vaccinated with MMR, please – please – take them now. Don’t let the flat-earthers get away with it.

If you’re an MMR/autism idiot please take yourself and your brood off to an island somewhere where nobody else lives and where the rest of us don’t have to share the consequences of your idiocy.

27 Responses to “Measles rising thanks to MMR/autism idiots”

  1. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) November 29, 2008 at 11:26 #

    I hope they’re fucking proud!

  2. CS November 29, 2008 at 14:45 #

    Bacterial Meningitis is a particularly nasty infection. Anyone who isn’t diagnosed quickly will have their brain “melt” in short order. I imagine this would be particularly devastating to parents.

    Really, the APA has been a worthless body in combating this. I sent in my information to them as well as others to speak up for vaccines and they never contacted me. I wonder if they contacted anyone? The APA shares in the blame on this and I think they are getting off the hook by pro vaccinationists. They have the resources and the connections with the media to spear head a campaign to combat this stuff but have largely abdicated their responsibility as I see it.

    It’s time that they be questioned on their lack of enthusiasm in combating this misinformation.

  3. Caroline November 29, 2008 at 16:48 #

    You didn’t mention SSPE, a terrible, fatal (if not caught early) neurological condition which strikes 7-15 years after the initial measles infection. It was thought to afflict approximately 1 in 100,000 people who recovered from measles, but recent studies now put the rate as low as 1 in 10,000. If infection occured before age 2, the chance of getting SSPE is now believed to be 1 in 2,000.

  4. Clay November 29, 2008 at 19:18 #

    So what happened with Wakefield’s court case? Didn’t they haul his arse into court for this very thing? Haven’t heard the results.

  5. Kev November 29, 2008 at 20:06 #

    Still ongoing Clay. Its not a court case as such, its a hearing by the GMC. The most that can happen is he loses his license to practice over here.

  6. Tyler November 29, 2008 at 20:50 #

    >> Still ongoing Clay. Its not a court case as such, its a hearing by the GMC. The most that can happen is he loses his license to practice over here.

    Will that mean much since he’s moved to Texas and set up shop at Thoughtful House?

    At least the trend in that immunization is starting to climb again. But the peak of the un-immunized kids will be just hitting full-time school this fall. Let’s all hold our breath and hope it makes it past the crest without a major outbreak.

    What are the immunization rates post age 2, say prior to entering school/daycare? That might help but even then if there is any significant clusters of kids that end up in close 5 day/week contact that are mostly not inoculated, and it’s unlikely there isn’t any of those clusters, all it’ll need is one spark there and boom off it goes. 😦

  7. Marita November 29, 2008 at 21:05 #

    It is so damn scary seeing those graphs. And it is almost impossible to counter the misinformation that is out there. Another autism mum at my daughters early intervention centre was talking to the group, she stated that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism, but she wasn’t going to vaccinate her children anyway, just in case AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURGH!

  8. farmwifetwo November 29, 2008 at 21:33 #

    Calling them flat-landers and idiots lowers your discussion to their level.

    One should always take the “high road” especially when you are in the right.

    Meningitus is deadly even when you live next door to the hospital. Which is why… since we live a long ways away from a major medical centre… both boys have been vaccinated for it as well as the “usuals”.

    S.

  9. Joseph November 29, 2008 at 21:55 #

    The peak of actual impact in vaccination rates does seem to have occurred in about 2003, doesn’t it? I’ve noticed the same thing in VAERS reporting. What we’re seeing now is a delayed effect. Also, there’s more of a media frenzy now, but it’s probably just that. The optimistic view is that the worst is behind us. Like previous vaccine scares, this one will fade away as well. (I can’t wait).

  10. Tyler November 29, 2008 at 22:37 #

    @Joseph

    Yes there is going to be a delay but you also have to think calculus integrals because that graph is only showing the “incoming” part of the equation for the part that really matters to epidemic, the percentage of the whole population that’s covered. So it’s the area under the curve that is key, and where the graph is at is that it’s still adding to the crest. Just at a lower rate than 4 years ago.

    It is so damn scary seeing those graphs. And it is almost impossible to counter the misinformation that is out there. Another autism mum at my daughters early intervention centre was talking to the group, she stated that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism, but she wasn’t going to vaccinate her children anyway, just in case AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURGH!

    Yeah it’s crazy how fear can sway. My wife actually baulked, thankfully half-heartedly and she came around quickly, at our youngest getting her MMR. It wasn’t even really a baulk, it was just this irrational concern she had about it that she knew was irrational. And she has two degrees, one of them in Biology. :/

  11. Jean November 30, 2008 at 00:58 #

    I think we need to be more gentle with the people you are calling “idiots”. I was Practice Nurse for 10 years before giving it up to be a full-time Mum (one of my kids has autism) and met many genuinely frightened parents who were terrified about giving their child the MMR. You really can’t judge a parent or call them stupid because they hear a claim made by a Doctor. Most people assume Doctors know what they are talking about and therefore believe them.
    Fear IS irrational. Luckily, most parents go ahead with the vaccine when it is explained to them that there is no link between the vaccine and autism, but there is always a residual fear of unwittingly doing harm to your child (everyone has heard about Thalidomide, afterall).
    It’s absolutely criminal that children have died as a result of this scare, and extremely frustrating for professionals trying to promote vaccination, but please go easy on frightened parents.

  12. David N. Andrews M. Ed. (Distinction) November 30, 2008 at 10:47 #

    CS: “Bacterial Meningitis is a particularly nasty infection. Anyone who isn’t diagnosed quickly will have their brain ‘melt’ in short order. I imagine this would be particularly devastating to parents.”

    I’ve seen the outcome of this and, you’re absolutely right: the parents do have a devastating time of it. What the actual client of our department experienced himself… well… we shall never know. His parents and staff at the day activity centre did their best to keep his quality of life up, and this was – as far as we could be sure – working. But the report I read on his situation is one of the things that got a medical physics research technician going into psychology… to try and get a handle on the link between neuropsychology and mind: how does someone who has – to all intents and purposes – half his cerebral cortex missing still get to enjoy being alive.

    If we can answer that question, which is more of a quality of life issue than a medical one, I think we would be heading the right way for finding out how best to work with autistic people. But your point about what bacterial meningitis can do… hell, yes. And even the lad who was our client… well, I’m very sure he’d rather have not gone blind and unable to speak.

  13. Dr. Danny Danczak November 30, 2008 at 12:10 #

    There was good evidence in 1997/98 to support the safey and efficacy of the MMR.

    I was at San Diego when Wakefield frst uttered his MMR at fault. He would not discuss anything else such as the genetics, his announcement was prefaced by political commentary on CDC and NHS, when he stated MMR was the major risk factor the audience behaved like a football crowd awarded a penalty.

    The DTP vaccination story had already had one run, been found to be perfectly safe, but in the meantime kids wards filled up with whooping cough, and then the mercury advocates. There is no evidence to support any of the claims and yet it still goes on!

    Public Health is just that! Idiot tinkering with evidence to support unreasonable opposition to rational progress in medicine is unforgiveable.

    Measles meningitis is not bacterial but does have potentially serious consequences as it does not respond to anti-biotics unlike the bacterial types.

  14. Kev November 30, 2008 at 12:40 #

    farmWifeTwo/Jean,

    I know what you’re saying but I think you’re wrong. There is an active campaign led and managed by parents in both the UK and US to lead people away from vaccines. There has to come a time when enough is enough. When people’s lives are becoming increasingly placed in danger by the people then i call ’em as I see ’em. They’re idiots.

  15. John Fryer November 30, 2008 at 19:14 #

    Hi,

    So why is everyone blaming Andrew Wakefield whose paper is only known to few people all of whom know that most researchers distanced themselves from it.

    The truth is that out of 4 measles multi vaccines for multiple viruses that three have been withdrawn either by the government or the vaccine companies themselves many causing untold deaths and sickness.

    In the USA there are at present 12 million children with long term health problems from cancer to skin problems, diabetes, autism etc.

    That is 12 million children permanently ill and will be for the whole of their lives. For the record thats one child in three.

    USA forcefully vaccinates everyone with threats of imprisonment for non-compliance. You start as a foetus with a mercury injection, then at one day, one month, two months getting up top ten vaccines at a time.

    Do we want to avoid the one single death in the UK in more than ten years and have the same vaccine schedule and same sick children having again by force of law to take up to 12 medications daily to control their health and stabilise their brains.

    This argument isn’t about one death in a decade but 12 million sick overvaccinated children in one country alone.

    And for the record USA has the worst child health record in the world (first world circa 20 plus countries).

    Whether vaccines are to blame or not the USA has at the same time the highest up take and number of vaccines coupled with the worlds worst child health.

    Strange but true to give toxic mercury injections to previously perfectly healthy children.

  16. tyler November 30, 2008 at 19:19 #

    Tyler, I think I can understand your wife’s feelings. as much as we hear about it, there was this itty bitty fear in my head that I was wrong, when I was getting my youngest vaccinated. btw, she’s fully vaccinated and skews typical. She sure is throwing us for a loop (my two oldest are not typical).

    Meanwhile, I’m currently waiting for the results of Tristan’s tests from the gastroenterologist to find out if I should laugh at myself for not trying gluten free 😉 (but he has comorbid issues, and I’m getting him tested by a professional before jumping into anything. And I did mention his diapers multiple times at the drs office before finally getting this referral…) I know post eating almost exclusively turkey, he seemed actually to be tummy normal. so maybe I just need to weed out starch altogether. I guess I’ll see soon enough…

  17. Navi November 30, 2008 at 19:19 #

    er, I’m Navi. I was responding to Tyler. doh.

  18. Navi November 30, 2008 at 19:27 #

    John Fryer, the US does not do that. One state did, and gave parents an option to sign a paper in lieu of getting their kids vaccinated. If you don’t want to vaccinate, most states have a waiver you can sign saying it’s against your religious beliefs or against your beliefs, or you can get a Dr to sign saying you can’t be vaccinated for whatever reason. So the people threatened with jail time didn’t take the time to sign a piece of paper. And then most opted to vaccinate instead when pressed.

    Frankly, if you’re going to home school your kids, and don’t take them abroad, and don’t expose them to other children, you don’t have to vaccinate. Their chances of getting exposed and exposing others are slim to none. If you’re going to expose your kids to other kids who may or may not have real conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated when your kid doesn’t, well then you should probably vaccinate. But you can opt to sign a piece of paper instead if you really have a problem with it. The ‘omg they’re forcing us to do it!’ complaint is a straw man.

    And the real rates of side effects are here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mmr.pdf

    The peds give you sheets like that so you can decide whether or not the risks are worth it for yourself before vaccinating your kid. So who’s hiding evidence from whom?

  19. Navi November 30, 2008 at 19:31 #

    oh, and we’re blaming wakefield because even though not many know about his study, his study is what started the conversation.

  20. Navi November 30, 2008 at 19:35 #

    oh, and one more thing. Thanks to all this mmr autism nonsense I have to remove autism from my search in order to easily find that document. So this mmr autism nonsense is taking attention away from the real problems that can be caused by vaccinations.

  21. a barker November 30, 2008 at 19:57 #

    My son was diagnosed with autism when he was 5 years old.He was taken to manchester a few years earlier where we paid for seperate vaccinations.Bang goes the mmr/autism theory cos he never had the mmr.He is beautiful and i would not change him for the world.

  22. Dr. Danny Danczak November 30, 2008 at 20:06 #

    Quote” So why is everyone blaming Andrew Wakefield whose paper is only known to few people all of whom know that most researchers distanced themselves from it.”

    In the UK, Wakefield was a household name for a while, national daily papers with 2 million plus circulation and four times that number of readers, (The Sun, Daily Mail)and both main news outles the BBC and ITN running storeis to 25 million folk who were frightened to death with his health scare.

    Mothers laid awake nights thinking they had poisononed their child into autism, when the findings and claims published simply did not stand up to scrutiny. The biggest test bed for this theory was and is, Japan which has a large incidence of autism and NO MMR.

    The whole thing was based on an alleged unethical research fraud, funded covertly by a law company that got Government money as long as there was a possibility however vague of MMR being contributory. In addition he stood to make money from a patent on a new type of anti-measles vaccination. Brian Deer’s website has all this and more.

    We now have measles outbreaks all over the UK and mothers ignorant at the complexity of Vaccination, witholding MMR and then spending days in hospital with their sick children. Measles is a notifiable disease in the UK and so its occurrence is easily monitored.

    The Measles identification in the ASD research children was incompetent, none of them had any virus present in excess compared to unaffected children, (see Offit) and to cap it all, when the Medical Research Council took evidence and presented papers at a large meeting in 2001, he chose not to appear, claiming a political point about there being drug company representatives present.

    There is no evidence to support the presence of inreased mercury in ASD children’s brains, no evidence of mercury poisoning, simply extrapolation from theoretical and unrelated clinical considerations.

    Excretion loading tests using chelators are not an indication of mercury overload, and may be caused by a range of other events. not least the fact that safely stored mercury in the liver of a child may be more readily eased out by this type of drug, but is irrelevant to a diagnosis of toxicity.

    Everyone is exposed to mercury in utero, walking in the garden here in the UK creates mercury vapour. Mercury is a ubiquitious mineral, and was in higher concentration in the past in fish for example than today.

    The pharmacodynamics of thiomersol are such that very little mercury is retained as the compound is rapidly excreted via the kidney. It is simply not true and naive thinking, that even with injected mercury in thiomersol, all in the syringe stays in the child. Its largley gone within the hour, because of the specfic chemical structure.

    The gold standard of mercury or lead poisoning is blood testing. The biggest amount of mercury given to a child in its firt year is in utero from Mum and not from any vaccine, and to cap it all, the amount of ASD diagnosed has gone UP not down since mercury was removed from vaccines.

    Perhaps the best example to think about when blaming vaccination is a mother who presented two struggling kids. one had all the shots the other didn’t, but developed autism at the same age. Her question was simple. Who did this then?

  23. CS November 30, 2008 at 20:14 #

    “Mercury is a ubiquitious mineral, and was in higher concentration in the past in fish for example than today.”

    I find this incredibly hard to believe, but I am persuadable. Mainly, due to industrial uses of mercury and its discharge into the air, water and oceans. Can you point me to where I might find proof that mercury in fish was higher in the past than it is today?

  24. Caroline November 30, 2008 at 20:46 #

    John Fryer, as an American, I can unequivocably state that the main reason the my country has such a shameful record on children’s health has to do with the fact that there is no universal health care (the only industrialized nation without it) and the high rate of childhood obesity (20%). Like Navi mentioned in an earlier post, many states do allow exemptions for religious beliefs. At my daughter’s old school, there are two children whose parents chose not to have them vaccinated (yes, they are both autistic, one pretty severely)- Please get your facts straight before you make such sweeping statements.

  25. Kev November 30, 2008 at 21:33 #

    John – MMR doesn’t contain mercury. Get the right rant in place.

  26. Tyler November 30, 2008 at 23:33 #

    “Mercury is a ubiquitious mineral, and was in higher concentration in the past in fish for example than today.”

    I find this incredibly hard to believe, but I am persuadable. Mainly, due to industrial uses of mercury and its discharge into the air, water and oceans. Can you point me to where I might find proof that mercury in fish was higher in the past than it is today?

    Worldwide mercury backgrounds went up when the Industrial Revolution kicked off. Coal has a lot of metals in it, including mercury, because of how it forms and it’s physical state makes it difficult remove the metals prior to burning. So you get a 100 mile plume downwind of fairly high mercury, and also wide distribution. That’s why Dr. Danny Danczak mentioned just walking in the garden in England kicks up mercury, all that coal they burned.

    There are a number of rivers that have high mercury levels. Both from historical mining operations (a long time ago mercury used to be used extensively in gold mining, and just general disturbance will do it), dam reservoirs (produce a lot of methyl-mercury in the water for the first few decades), but also naturally occurring as mercury is exposed by erosion and then methyl-mercury forms. These later ones have always existed.

    The difference now is that there is a fair amount of testing so it is less likely that you are [unknowingly] consuming large amounts of mercury via fish. Certainly in developed countries but even of the larger rivers in developing countries.

  27. Tyler November 30, 2008 at 23:37 #

    Oops, I messed up that last post. First paragraph following the indented quote was suppose to also be indented as that’s CS’s paragraph.

    P.S. One more thing. Britain doesn’t burn nearly the same amount of coal anymore. So it makes sense that their levels are going to be dropping. It takes time though as rain water leeches the mercury into rivers and takes it to the ocean.

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