I love that when a nonsense article floats around on facebook, everyone who knows me, sends it to me. This newest article was sent to me about a dozen times today. I’m out of town for work and said “Nope, not refuting it. No time”. But here I am, with a few hours to spare in my hotel room, and what am I doing….refuting the article. Haha!
I’ve been researching the measles vaccine for 8 years now and have written many posts on this subject.
So here we go…..again.
I have to remind myself that my passion and heart is truly to educate and empower other mothers. So if you are a non vaccinating mother and read the silly Daily Beast article titled “Thanks, Anti-Vaxxers. You Just Brought Back Measles in NYC”, and that article made you question your decision, or you were to made to feel like you needed to defend yourself and your decision to friends or family, this post is for you!
The article begins with: “There is currently an outbreak of measles in New York City. Considered eliminated in the United States in 2000, last year saw a record number of outbreaks around the country”. (I kept the two original links within these sentences for references)
Let’s break this down.
Right away, the original article links to other articles. I always click on the links within the original article, because that is where the real information can be found. The original article is always an opinion piece with no research or statistics. So I always leave the original article to get to root of what is being said. I look for statistics. Research. Science. Logic.
The first linked article is titled: “New measles cases confirmed in New York City”.
Are you ready for what comes next?
First sentence: “New York City health officials have identified 3 more cases of measles”
“Five hospitalizations have occurred as a result of this outbreak”
“At least two cases were transmitted right in a doctor’s office, officials said”
Say what? 3 WHOLE CASES? 5 hospitalizations? And 2 cases were transmitted right in a doctors office?
And this is what we call an outbreak? And we blame the unvaccinated? I honestly wonder how an “outbreak” such as this can warrant an article titled: “Thanks, Anti-Vaxxers. You Just Brought Back Measles in NYC”. Is it just me, or have we completely lost grasp of what true journalism is?
And 2 cases transmitted right in a doctors office? Wait you mean transmitted through the vaccine? Ha! Seriously though, let’s not forget that the measles vaccine is a live virus vaccine that can live in saliva and feces, so yes those recently vaccinated are carriers. Vaccine shedding anyone?
I love how the original article (like I said which is always an opinion piece) says: “Measles was considered eliminated at the turn of the millennium. Now it’s back, thanks to the loons who refuse to vaccinate their children” Really? That’s the science? An article that calls parents loons? How low can we go?
The second link given in the original article, (about how measles was considered eliminated in the United States in 2000, but last year (2013) saw a record number of outbreaks), that link leads you directly to the CDC website which shows the graphic above. I’ve shared this graphic before. There you have it folks, all 159 cases of measles (2013 actually ended with 189 cases).
In 2000 (the year measles was “eliminated” from the US) there were 86 cases. So I guess somehow the difference between the 189 cases in 2013 and 86 cases in 2000, all 103 of those new cases are considered “outbreaks” and are caused by the small percentage of unvaccinated children? Totally logical, right?
Funny though, I went to the CDC website and in the year 2011 there were 222 cases in the US, which is significantly higher than 2013. And did you know that in 2011, we added a third MMR vaccine onto the childhood schedule, and also put it on the adult vaccination program as a regular booster?
Funny how we just can’t seem to eliminate measles within the United States.
In 1967, during a measles campaign, the CDC said: “Effective use of this vaccine during the coming winter and spring should insure the eradication of measles from the United States in 1967”. The cutesy slogan read “Stop measles with just one shot”.
Well that was 47 years ago. And now a child entering Kindergarten needs 3 shots.
Good ole measles.
I love how the original article states: “Most patients recover after an unpleasant but relatively uneventful period of sickness”. Yep, big bad scary measles. Seriously, how have we let measles become so scary? In a healthy child, the symptoms are nothing more than a common cold.
The article does goes on to say: “Unfortunately, about one patient in every 1,000 develops inflammation of the brain, and one to three cases per 1000 in the United States result in death”. The truth is, 1 in about 10,000 (not 1,000) may develop inflammation of the brain.
Dr. Mendelsohn: “Doctors maintain that the inoculation is necessary to prevent measles encephalitis, which they say occurs about one in 1,000 cases. After decades of experience with measles, I question this statistic, and so do many other pediatricians. … in middle and upper-income brackets, … incidence of true encephalitis is probably more like 1/10,000 or 1/100,000.”
However 1 in 50 kids with autism suffer from inflammation of the brain and the MMR vaccine package insert for the measles vaccine actually lists inflammation of the brain as a side effect from the vaccine. Go read the package insert. It’s called encephalitis. Caused by the measles vaccine. Not caused by the natural measles virus.
As the article suggests, how do we actually know 1 -3 cases per 1,000 in the United States result in death? We don’t. According to the CDC, deaths occur in populations with high levels of malnutrition and a lack of adequate healthcare. Deaths don’t occur in developed countries. Deaths do not occur in 1 -3 cases per 1,000 in the United States. And in developing countries, “Data shows that one-third to one-half of the millions of deaths in children across the world, caused by measles, are due to undernutrition, not undervaccination”.
WHERE IS THE LOGIC?
The original article continues with paragraphs such as: “The anti-vaccine crowd may think they’re only making a decision for their own family. In fact, they’re threatening to make the rest of us sick. Refusing to vaccinate your children means you are contributing to a worsening public health crisis. There is no denying it, and there is no point in sugar-coating it”.
HOW ARE UNVACCINATED CHILDREN A THREAT?
“It is preposterous to think that a child who is vaccinated no longer carries the bacteria or the viruses that they have been vaccinated against. If, in fact, children are vaccinated, then why are parents and public health authorities afraid that non-vaccinated children are somehow carrying something that their children are not, when they should feel comfortable that their children are vaccinated? You can’t have it both ways…
You can’t vaccinate believing that your children are protected and then feel that your children are not protected because somehow, some non-vaccinated child is carrying some secret organism that no-one else is carrying. You can’t have it both ways. It just doesn’t make any sense”. -–Dr. Palevsky, board certified pediatrician in New York
I won’t go through each silly paragraph within the article. My favorite though was: “If you missed measles and are glad it’s back, thank a vaccine-denier”. If you are an adult who survived measles as a child, you now have PERMANENT immunity acquired from contracting the natural measles virus. You cannot and will not ever contract measles again. Who else is this article referring to that would be “missing measles” but the generation that actually contracted it naturally? They aren’t worried.
When these types of articles clearly point the finger at only one people group (in this case the non-vaccinating parent) it is so hard to understand the logic. The article states: “Perhaps vaccine-refusing parents will consider whether it’s worth the anxiety of knowing that a person who coughed in their grocery store two hours earlier could infect their kids as they do the week’s shopping together, and will reconsider their choices”
Scientists believe that measles can be eradicated by vaccinating 80% -100% of the population. Theoretically, such “herd” immunity will interrupt measles transmission and end epidemics. According to the CDC, childhood immunization levels are near or above national targets.
CHILDHOOD immunization levels are near or ABOVE National targets.
And why the heck is it always the “vaccine-refusing parents”? What about the vaccine-refusing adults? We have an entire generation of baby boomers who haven’t had a booster shot in years. Why don’t we blame them? The blaming is so targeted, it’s hard to take serious. The small percentage of unvaccinated children would or could never be the cause of an outbreak. But then again, it’s almost comical what we call an “outbreak”.
I’ll end with the sentence in the article that said: “I hope the anti-vaccine movement somehow loses steam”. Wake up Pharma. Wake the hell up. There is no such thing as an “anti-vaccine movement”. You created it. You got greedy and added 49 vaccines to the childhood schedule before a child starts Kindergarten. You created an entire generation of sick children. We know them as vaccine injured child. Guess what? These children ARE vaccinated. You know, the GREATER GOOD. The parents believed the lie. They did what they were told. The took their kids in for the shots. This movement is called truth. And it will never lose steam. Not until you stop harming and injuring children. This movement is only growing. This movement is just getting it’s steam. Your articles like the one today, they fuel us.
So go find another scare tactic. Your “measles outbreak” scare tactics aren’t fooling anyone.
Thanks, Pharma. You created the “anti-vaccine movement”.
To read more posts on the topic of outbreaks:
Why All The Measles Outbreaks?
The Myth of Herd Immunity
LA Times and the Whooping Cough Story
The Whooping Cough Has Me For a Loss of Words
Pertussis: The Outbreaks that Cry Wolf