Measles Schmeasles.

I am SO DAMNED SICK of all the hype about the ‘outbreak’ of measles at Disneyland.  So far, nationwide, there are something like 171 ETA 87 cases connected to Disneyland.  171, 87, people.   And how many have died?  NONE. 

When my children were small, my mother, a former nurse and special education teacher, asked me not to continue with the current vaccination schedule because she had concerns about a possible MMR/autism connection.  Now, keep in mind, this was in the early 80’s, LONG BEFORE DR. WAKEFIELD.  My oldest son did have a change in behavior after receiving his first MMR.  It concerned her enough that she made the request.

She also had concerns based on Japanese research, if I remember correctly, about other problems like ADD/ADHD and vaccine induced encephalopathy.  So I did as she asked.  My children *were* fully vaccinated.  Just not according to the CDC schedule.   And not until they were ready to start school.  The key, I believe is that in the 80’s, and early 90’s, the vaccine schedule was approximately HALF the number it is today, and doctors were much more proactive about NOT giving vaccines to children who were sick.  Today?  Not so much.

Let’s talk about measles for a minute, shall we?  My oldest son is the product of a high school romance, and is actually a half brother to my other two children.  Because I was a single mother for the first part of my oldest son’s life, I had to work to support us.  The day care he went to was in the home of an older German woman, who also watched 4-5 other children.  One of these children got measles when Dear Eldest Son (DES) was 12 or 13 months old (14 mo?).  DES got it shortly thereafter.  And so did I.  Now, DES was too young to receive the MMR yet; it was given at either 15 or 18 months of age then (I can’t remember for sure which).  I, however, had been fully vaccinated as a child and *should* have been immune.  Yes, well.  So, at the age of 19, I spent a week with my child in a darkened house, both of us feverish, rashy, and suffering from headaches and light sensitivity.  And then we got better.

This is the normal course of measles, by the way, in a basically healthy population with good sanitation.  Between 2000 and 2005, I believe there were less than 10 deaths from measles.  There have been ZERO deaths since 2005 from measles.  It’s not exactly a terrifying horrible disease that kills millions in the US every year.  And you should know that the side effects *of* the measles vaccine are the SAME as the measles:  encephalopathy, pneumonia, febrile seizures, death.  Adverse effects per the package insert.  Oh, and you can get measles *from* the vaccine.  This is because it is a live virus vaccine.  12 month old with lab confirmed measles, vaccinated Jan 2015.  The difference is that vaccine induced immunity wears off.  That’s why I got it even though I had been vaccinated.  And that’s why DES got it even though he was breastfed, because my waning vaccine induced immunity couldn’t protect him.  We both are PERMANENTLY immune now, though, because we have actually had measles.  My titers reflect this. 

Contrast my story with this:  Doctor fed up with measles outbreak takes controversial stance.  Oh, yes, those children with measles are such a threat.  It’s such a deadly disease that ZERO people have died in the past near-decade.  Terrible risk, isn’t it Dr. Goodman?

Well, here’s the thing.  The strain of virus in the vaccine is no longer the wild type strain of measles.  This is well documented and can be easily (though expensively) checked when measles is confirmed in lab testing.  So people who are vaccinated, AND up to date on their vaccines, can still get and transmit measles, thanks to genetic drift away from the vaccine strain that causes a less than robust immune response.  The body doesn’t quite recognize measles because it’s not quite the same, but sort of the same, so the immune system can’t decide if it should respond with the antibodies it has already made against the vaccine strain or if it’s something else entirely.  Here is a study that documents the differing immune type responses (in cell cultures) between the two.  Notice the statement that the vaccine strain doesn’t induce the strong immune response that the wild type does.  That’s key to this discussion.  Now I should say that my original major was microbiology and immunology, but I do not pretend to be any sort of an immunology specialist or expert, and this is what I get from the studies I have read.  A less than robust immune response is why people are not immune and get subclinical or atypical disease.

So you get measles, you feel crappy (sometimes) but you don’t look like you have measles.  The good thing is that after you *get* measles, you will actually be immune.  Here are some studies that document measles infection in vaccinated populations:  Subclinical measles in Greenland,   Measles and subclinical measles in Africa,  just for a very small sample.  Google “subclinical measles in vaccinated people” for many many more examples.  In fact, the CDC admits this in the MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) for August 24, 2013:  “Thirteen (8%) of the patients had been vaccinated, of whom three had received 2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. “  You can read the rest of the report here.

It’s not that uncommon for outbreaks to occur, and the hype over how dangerous it is is dreadfully overstated.  For instance, this Wikipedia  article quotes the CDC as stating in the 20 years after the measles vaccine was introduced, it prevented an “estimated 5200 deaths”….that’s 260 per year.  Now I’m not trying to denigrate 260 people dying every year from measles, it’s still tragic, but hardly on the same level as, say, heart disease in which the CDC estimates 600,000 deaths every year – 1 in 4 deaths EVERY YEAR from something mainly lifestyle related.

My personal suspicion is that, since the CDC makes $36.22 per 10 pack of vaccines it sells to licensed vaccine providers (that’s your local doctor), it has a pretty profound vested interest in making sure the population is forced into receiving the MMR.  This is especially true since the two main virologists who worked at Merck, the ONLY licensed M/M/R vaccine producers in the US, are being allowed to proceed with their lawsuit  against Merck for fraudulently inflating the effectiveness of the mumps portion of the vaccine.

So, in conclusion, I think the CDC is as corrupt as any private pharmaceutical company, and just as financially reliant on vaccine sales for their existence.  And because I think this, I believe they are deliberately chumming up hysteria and mongering fear about a relatively harmless childhood disease in order to protect a part of their revenue stream.  Vaccinate, don’t vaccinate, it’s up to you.  I’m just not that worried about a measles outbreak in my community.  Vitamins A and D, decent nutrition, lots of fluids, sunglasses, and common sense should be all we need to recover without sequelae.  And that’s it.

And now back to the regularly scheduled knitting and studying frenzy that is my life until my final exam on February 18.


6 responses

  1. Thank you for pulling all the details and sources together into a succint, same post. The best I’ve seen.
    Measles were a hohum possibility when I grew up in 60s Germany; if you got ” die Masern” you were cooped up at home for a while.

  2. I agree. Too much noise for nothing as usual.
    As here is written: “In a normal progression of measles, a person is usually healthy within a week. Otherwise, only the symptoms are treated. The disease is caused by a virus and therefore treatment with antibiotics only makes sense when the natural progression of the disease is accompanied by a secondary bacterial infection.”

    Be well !

  3. When my brother was 4, my mom had to keep him confined in a darkened room for a week, in summer, because the measles got under his eyelids and he was in danger of losing his sight. Measles is nothing to be blasé about.

    • Here’s what you don’t understand. With measles, you get the 3C’s. Conjunctivitis, coryza (runny nose), cough. If you read my post, I did note that we also spent a week in a darkened house. That’s normal. One is not in danger of going blind, but the eyes are very red and inflamed, and it does hurt to be in bright light (photophobia). What your brother had sounds pretty par for the course for measles to me, and nothing to be extremely concerned about.

  4. I really appreciate medical people that present this side of the measles vaccination. Recently, several individuals on an amateur radio net that I listen to have been saying that they believe the flu vaccine should be mandatory. Most of them get all of their information of OTA television, which is a worse source than the internet IMHO.
    Just for fun I found some information on how many people they think died from influenza. The title of the report is “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)”. This data is from the report of August 27, 2010. To keep this short the average, in all age groups, is 23,607. In 2004-2006 there was an average of 30,800 per year with two of the years being in excess of 40,000 deaths.
    It seems to me that unless the so called flu vaccine has been improved greatly, vaccines are not doing anything to reduce flu deaths.
    Please remember that the CDC is being on vaccinations so that this report is probably not biased in the direction that would suggest flu vaccines are not doing what they are supposed to do.

    • Sorry for getting back to this so late! I’ve been going through my account and approving (and deleting) comments that I’m not sure I approved to begin with – I have a WordPress app on my phone and sometimes I approve comments through that though it doesn’t show up here for some reason.

      If you go through and collate the supposed flu deaths with pneumonia as a complicating factor, and eliminate the deaths from pneumonia, the number of actual INFLUENZA deaths each year is vanishingly small. Like in the less than 500’s each year. These are usually in immunocompromised individuals, who are at much more serious risk of dying from pneumonia to begin with. And who, by the way, should NOT be exposed to children who have received the FluMist vaccine because it’s a LIVE VIRUS VACCINE. Meaning, the children shed live virus for a month or more, and can infect anyone around them who is susceptible – that cute kid who sneezes as you walk by in the grocery store is a potential death vector for the immune compromised person. Happy thought, eh? So, why are we pushing a vaccine that says RIGHT ON THE PACKAGE INSERT that creating antibodies does *not* equal immunity, that states that it is at best only 50-60% effective in creating those antibodies (which they admit do not confer immunity), and which also states that influenza and pneumonia are possible side effects of receiving? Answer: because the CDC makes a lot of money off that vaccine. As do the pharmaceutical companies.

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