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.

 

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The fight over the right to know what’s in your food 


The fight over the right to know what’s in your food

“While a federal solution may be necessary, the GMA proposal is a far cry from what consumers are demanding and only shows the food industry’s desperation. If the industry gets its way, shoppers will remain in the dark about which foods contain GMOs. Meanwhile, the state-level policy efforts should continue to move forward. More states must flex their political muscle to remind federal leaders that Americans want transparency about the food they eat. Now that the junk-food lobby’s true agenda has been revealed, federal representatives are on notice: Your constituents will be holding you accountable to ensure that this democracy-killing power grab does not come to fruition.”

Social Security: The Vampire Administration that Never Sleeps


vampires

I received a letter in the mail this morning.  Or possibly it was for me.  The last name is one I’ve never had.  The account number referenced is my mother’s social security number.  But they have my social security number listed in their threat.

The letter states that I was overpaid benefits in the amount of $142.00 and if I do not make arrangements to pay this amount within 60 days they will put a lien on our tax return for the amount.

I have NEVER received social security benefits.  So I called the office listed in Casa Grande, wondering *why* I had to call Casa Grande instead of my local office.  I spoke with a very snotty woman who insisted that the name on the letter was, in fact, my maiden name and didn’t believe me that it wasn’t.  She also insisted that I received benefits under my mother’s name when I lived in Gila Bend (and Casa Grande is the closet SS office to there, mystery of that solved at least).  The thing is, I NEVER LIVED IN GILA BEND.  And my mother was employed full time as a teacher when SHE lived in Gila Bend.  And when she lived in Gila Bend, I was married with three children — and lived with my husband and children — in another part of the state.

The woman I spoke with did not call me a liar directly, but it was definitely implied in her tone…and she kept insisting I had collected benefits under my mother’s name while living in Gila Bend.  I kept insisting I had not, and reiterating that I was an adult living in a separate household, and that I have the tax returns to prove it.  I also kept reiterating my mother was employed full time for the school district and wasn’t collecting benefits either, neither of which she believed.  I also informed her my mother has been dead for almost ten years.  She at that point connected me to the extension of someone named Patty, who was not available to speak with me (of course) and so I left a message.

Now, my mother did collect disability in the 70’s after she got rheumatoid arthritis and couldn’t work as a nurse any more.  She could have stayed on it for the rest of her life, but that wasn’t her ethic.  Instead, she went back to school and became a teacher, a career she worked in for the rest of her life.  She was on SSDI for a grand total of perhaps 2.5 years.  I don’t know how they can say my mother collected benefits in my name — she collected benefits for herself.  And I was a minor at the time; if she was overpaid how can a (now adult) child be held responsible for that?  And what’s further, since she graduated in 1979, isn’t there some sort of statute of limitations on this crap?  That was over 30 years ago for crying out loud!

I’m just fit to be tied.  What the hell?