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This is what happens when we as a society start trusting the advice of celebrities over doctors when it comes to the health of our children.

File this one in the "ya don't say?!" folder:

"CDC: Whooping cough rising at alarming rate in US"

From the article:

ATLANTA (AP) -- The U.S. appears headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades, with the number of cases rising at an epidemic rate that experts say may reflect a problem with the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far - more than twice the number seen at this point last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. At this pace, the number for the entire year will be the highest since 1959, when 40,000 illnesses were reported.

Nine children have died, and health officials called on adults - especially pregnant women and those who spend time around children - to get a booster shot as soon as possible.

[snip]

Some parents in California and other states have rebelled against vaccinations and gotten their children exempted from rules that require them to get their shots to enroll in school. Washington state has one of the highest exemption rates in the nation. But the CDC said that does not appear to be a major factor in the outbreak, since most of the youngsters who got sick had been vaccinated.

OK, so there's a few things at play here.  First, there's the biology.  Whooping cough (caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis) is just like any other living organism, at least when it comes to being susceptible to mutation.  Some doctors are thinking that this particular version of Bordetella pertussis is particularly virulent for some reason.

Second, there's the vaccine itself.  The DTaP version is newer and has less side effects (like rashes, etc.), but it may not be as effective.

These two are mentioned in the above article and likely do indeed have an effect on this latest outbreak.

However...  there's number three - the big elephant in the room.  Anti-vax crusaders like Jenny McCarthy (and people who give them a platform to spout their anti-science bullshit, like Oprah) are definitely having an impact, and that impact is unequivocally negative.

The entire MMR vaccine "controversy" of the late-90s and 2000s was entirely fabricated by a fraud named Andrew Wakefield, whose rogue science and medical hoax literally contributed to the deaths of numerous children.  When Wakefield published his now widely discredited "study" that claimed the MMR vaccine causes autism, vaccination rates plummeted in the U.K., after which a sharp rise in cases of MMR occurred.

MMRVaccineRate

The U.S. vaccine rate has dropped precipitously in the last few years as well; it is not merely coincidence that the drop correlates with the increased exposure Jenny McCarthy and her legion of anti-vax nutsos has increased.

USVaccineRate

Dr. Paul Offit, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (my next door neighbor here at Penn) is a prominent critic of anti-vax crazies, has gone on record stating "that paper killed children".

So is this latest epidemic of Whooping Cough entirely because of the anti-vax crusade?  No.  But I guarantee you that it would be a lot less severe is we let doctors and scientists be the experts here instead of celebrities with no training or experience in the field of medicine whatsoever.

The floor is yours.

PS - if you have Twitter or Facebook, why don't you let Jenny know that her anti-vax crusade is literally causing our children to get sick.

@JennyMcCarthy

Jenny McCarthy's Facebook

Originally posted to mconvente on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 05:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by KOSpectrum and Parenting on the Autism Spectrum.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What gets me is that the anti-vax people will (44+ / 0-)

    freak out if their kids (or they themselves) get sick or die from something preventable with vaccine. I don't often get into loud arguments with people in person, but anti-vaxxers piss me off to the point of wanting to hit them.

    My university recently took a no-nonsense policy when it came to the meningitis vaccine. Starting last year, you had to provide proof that you got the vaccine or you were evicted from campus housing, no ifs ands or buts about it. It was a PITA getting all the paperwork in order, but it makes me feel comfortable being there.

    Facebook
    If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

    by weatherdude on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 05:57:42 PM PDT

  •  Please, people. (31+ / 0-)

     Refusing a vaccine is a life or death decision.  If you have closely held beliefs about vaccines, and have thoroughly researched your decision, be sure that you can live with it.

     If you are refusing vaccines because of hearsay, or just a vague idea it might be harmful, please do some serious research with well respected sources before you decide against vaccines.  

      I am old enough that I remember polio, scarlet fever, measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, and serious bouts of the flu.  I lost gradeschool friends to some of those, saw a person in my own family lose her hearing, permanently.   These so-called 'childhood diseases' were not benign, by any means.   They were life threatening, painful, and frightening.   I can't imagine children today getting them when they don't have to;  who can stay home with them for weeks at a time to see them through?

     And if you have no serious objections to vaccines, please do get in to have yourself, and your family, vaccinated.   Don't procrastinate!!  

    •  I got the real thing. (4+ / 0-)

      I come from before vaccines were common for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox or flu, and meningitis was generally considered so rare as to not be worth bothering to worry about.  I did get two of three oral vaccines for polio, but we missed one variety because it was a public program being handed out in alternate weeks and the schedule got screwed up.  I don't lose sleep worrying that I might turn up with it someday, although of course I might.

      People my age (50+ or so) grew up with the expectation that you would get these diseases when you were a child; they would be an irritation to be gotten over, and then you would have the real thing: live, natural immunity to the disease.  Of course, now that they've taken the diseases virtually out of circulation, even live natural immunity eventually peters out because it never gets challenged with a sublethal dose of the little bugger that started it.

      I know all you vax people are sure you're right about this, but I'm not sure you are.  What is the point of breeding and raising a strain of humans that can't fight off the common cold on its own?  The real world is full of microbes and viruses.  Real live immunities allow us to function outside of a sanitary bubble.  Emasculating our immune systems to the point of ineptitude doesn't help us deal with the myriad strains of buggers that the corporations haven't managed to make a (profitable) vaccine for yet.

      So yes, I've thought about it, researched it, read the CRC vaccine handbook cover to cover during lunch hours, and developed a complex and subtle ethos regarding them.  I'm not kneejerk averse to them under what I consider appropriate circumstances.  But I think that like sliced bread, they're vastly overrated.

    •  I've had most of the "childhood" diseases, (8+ / 0-)

      including measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio and several kinds of flu., the kind that has you seeing movies on the walls.   I took the CDC questionaire and it told me I should have the Tdap and Zoster.   sigh.   Luckily I have a checkup next week.

      Guess I'll find out when I get the bill whether Medicare will cover those boosters.  Pneumonia and flu boosters have been covered.

      The idea that anyone who knows they should get vax for diseases and don't, not because they haven't funds, or have health problems that preclude, is just stupid.

      I lost track of a friend for a couple of years and just found out that she had whooping cough during that time.  Didn't figure out she had it until her 12 year old gdaughter caught it and started whooping.  Seems adults don't whoop-or not always.

      Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by maybeeso in michigan on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:11:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you so do not want shingles (7+ / 0-)

        I've had three friends with it, and whooo-eee is it painful. Can cause some permanent nerve damage.

        •  Ding Ding Ding! (5+ / 0-)

          Welcome to my world, the lovely planet of Postherpetic Neuralgia.

          I was homeless and without insurance when I developed shingles, and there was no vax for it at the time. Nor could I afford the antivirals that could have mitigated the damage. I got a scrip for Vicodin and a "good luck" from the ER staff.

          Almost a decade later, now, and my luck is holding: bone-deep aches, stabbing, pins and needles, and my favorite, hypersensitivity.

          Do not fuck with shingles. Pardon my language.

          The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

          by lotusmaglite on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:45:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm so sorry! (4+ / 0-)

            I'm waiting 4 more months til I'm 60 and then the vaccine will be covered by insurance. I'm really hoping that isn't a stupid gamble. I guess its only about 50% effective, but its supposed to lessen the severity if one does still get it.

            Are things more stable in the rest of your life?

            •  Stable. Hmm. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              yaque, slouchsock

              LOL If I have to think about it, the answer isn't so good. But I've adjusted to life with PHN.

              As long as you're healthy and not completely stressed out, you should make it the 4 months. It takes a bout of immunosuppression to really ratchet up the danger of a shingles outbreak. I was thirty-four, so it was a pretty rare case. I took an early HIV test (I used to twice a year; now married, once a year) because the doctor was concerned. Negative to this day, so that's good news.

              I had lost my best friend to suicide about a year before, and the resulting fallout destroyed my finances, my relationship, and very nearly my career. Stress did me in for shingles. I try to take it easier these days :)

              The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

              by lotusmaglite on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:38:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Pretty sure Medicare covers those. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, yaque, maybeeso in michigan

        My mother had the zoster shot several years ago at 85. 10 months later, she got shingles. Her physician explained that they work better the earlier you get them. Also that the outbreak is far milder if you have had the vaccine. This was very true for Mom.

        The age for the shots has been decreased, I think to 50. I had all the childhood stuff except whooping cough.  If I get on state health insurance, those are the first things I'm going to ask for. The tetanus is due next spring so they should be ok to give that.

        Interesting preliminary research report I saw recently. Like most people watching the research and the growing incidence of autism, the indication it was something new in our lives was strong. My ex being an env engineer, including a job as water treatment manager for Anchorage; we had been alarmed at the growing number of chemicals in the water that pre-treatment has not started addressing.

        The study looked at the neuro genes in mice who were given tap water. The only genes that showed signs of changes were those associated with autism. #1 suspect in the water samples: SSRI levels - which have been growing over the years just as the incidence of autism has increased. It is preliminary. However the research spokes person said that pregnant women should not start worrying about their drinking water.

        Dude, pregnant women are worrying about autism. There are plenty of good reasons for them to consider getting a high quality water filter (NO sodium exchange) for their drinking water - regardless of whether this possibility is confirmed. It may help those worries, decreasing stress hormones, which is a good thing.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:08:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So it appears (20+ / 0-)

    they are recommending adults get a booster shot as well?

    -Zak

    Born in TN-05 and Live in TN-05, Went to college in TN-09 and TN-06, Married in IA-02.

    by zakandsantos on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 06:07:13 PM PDT

  •  govt ordered vaccine is a tax (9+ / 0-)

    making everybody not a carrier is socialism

    Standing Order 29

    Convention on World Dynamics

    Friars and Masons blog

    check it out...

    The UN wants you to talk like this!

    you're already assimilated?

    From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America!...Langston Hughes

    by KenBee on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 06:08:41 PM PDT

  •  Early center of outbreak was county next to mine (9+ / 0-)

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 06:41:10 PM PDT

  •  Other adult vaccines (17+ / 0-)

    It is very important that you keep up with adult vaccinations.  Adults over 55 should consider the shingles (Varicella zoster) vaccine and over 65 the pneumococcal vaccine.  

    The whooping cough outbreak really took the public health community by surprise.  As you mention in the diary there are several reasons for it, but we must be vigilant about these things.  Whooping cough isn't fun even for adults.

    "It looks like how music sounds." --My four year old nephew upon looking through a kaleidoscope for the first time

    by Mote Dai on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 06:54:37 PM PDT

    •  Another group of people wo need pneumococcal vax (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      is kidney patients. If you are on the transplant lst, you will be told to get it, and your transplant program will want proof. Same with HepB and HepC. If you are a dialysis patient, you should receive this during treatment if you're in-center, or at your monthly home program visit if you dialyze at home.

      Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

      Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

      by Kitsap River on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:46:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Varicella Zoster is chicken pox (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      Herpes Zoster is shingles.

      The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

      by lotusmaglite on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same virus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotusmaglite

        They are the same thing.  

        "It looks like how music sounds." --My four year old nephew upon looking through a kaleidoscope for the first time

        by Mote Dai on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:47:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Categorized (0+ / 0-)

          ...differently, though. I'm not trying to get on your case for using "to" instead of "too"; I'm just trying to provide the most accurate information.

          The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

          by lotusmaglite on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 03:06:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Disease name vs pathogen name (0+ / 0-)

            I gave the pathogen name in parenthesis, not the disease name.  I gave the common name for the disease as shingles.  The scientific name for shingles is herpes zoster.  There is no corresponding "scientific" name for chicken pox.

            "It looks like how music sounds." --My four year old nephew upon looking through a kaleidoscope for the first time

            by Mote Dai on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:30:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oops.. (0+ / 0-)

              That was way too late to respond in a cogent manner!  Sorry about that.  Varicella is the other, old common name for chicken pox (maybe was it French?), but there isn't another scientific term for the disease itself.   Nothing as interesting such as mononucleosis for EBV or CMV infections.

              "It looks like how music sounds." --My four year old nephew upon looking through a kaleidoscope for the first time

              by Mote Dai on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 02:52:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Gotcha. (0+ / 0-)

              Okay, cool :)

              The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

              by lotusmaglite on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 04:43:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Worse than Jenny is Mayim Bialik. It's one thing (22+ / 0-)

    for someone who barely graduated from high school and whose claim to fame is being a Playboy Playmate spouting nonsense (it's still awful that anyone gives her a platform to do so, mind). Far worse if it's someone with a PhD in the sciences.

  •  Correction and question, mconvente: (15+ / 0-)

    But first, thanks for the excellent diary. It's an extremely important topic and I'm glad you wrote it.
    I think you meant rogue "scientist" when talking about Wakefield but my correction is not that it should have been scientist rather than science -- he doesn't deserve to be called a scientist or have the word science connected to his name -- he was a doctor who was, essentially, bribed by lawyers with a financial interest in the outcome, to make it look like the measles vaccine caused autism. A person like that should be called a charlatan or a crook, not a scientist (and the adjective "rogue" is often viewed positively, e.g., Palin claiming it as hers).
    Question: you mention cases of whooping cough occurring in vaccinated people. I assume the CDC determined that the kids had gotten either a DPT or a DTaP rather than a DT? I ask because so many parents ask for the diphtheria & tetanus vaccine that does not include the pertussis part. I have to wonder if any of the vaccinated kids who got whooping cough had gotten the DT but were listed as "vaccinated" in school records.

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 07:16:50 PM PDT

    •  Good points (10+ / 0-)

      Yeah, I honestly didn't even want to call Wakefield a "scientist", but it was the most official description of him.  OK, crook is the best one, hehe.

      Not sure about K/12 schools, but at least for Penn (where I'm at for graduate school), they require the full DPT, so Pertussis vaccine included.

      Though, I'm not sure how judicious other places (or even Penn for that matter if you really challenged them on it) if a DT would be sufficient.  I'm sure a DT-only vaccination could slip under the cracks at some places.

      In regard to this article which mentions vaccinated children getting sick, see my points 1 and 2 from the diary.

      In brief, 1 is that the Pertussis bacterium could have mutated and be resistant to the vaccine, though from my understanding this doesn't happen in the same fashion as viruses that mutate, being that you need a new flu shot every year whereas vaccines against bacteria just require a set regiment and possible boosters later in adulthood.

      2 is the fact that the vaccine itself may not be as effective, either because of point 1 or because it's just not as good at inducing an antibody-mediated response even with a non-mutated form of Pertussis.

      "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

      by mconvente on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 07:29:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! My bet is that in a lot of school systems (8+ / 0-)

        they don't ask for enough info or distinguish between the DT and the vaccines with pertussis (is the DTP, not acellular, even available anymore?). I used to be far more up on all this and your diary reminds me that I need to do reading when I get home from vacation.
        I really want to try & figure out whether the kids with whooping cough had received adequate vaccination. Halfway thru the Bush (W) years, the people I knew in the immunization program in CDC left (like lots of frustrated and disgusted government scientists), and I really don't know if their replacements were of the same caliber. Not assuming bad things about them, but I just don't know anything about them.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 07:48:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  from what i understand... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yaque

          ... the earlier type of vaccine was associated with some nasty side effects, so they created a new type of vaccine with fewer side effects.  The tradeoff is that the newer one requires more frequent boosters and a higher vaccination rate in the general population to achieve strong herd immunity.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:34:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "Unexpectedly Limited Durability of Immunity..." (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yaque, Tamar

        ...the title of the medical journal article describing some of the research.

        Unexpectedly Limited Durability of Immunity Following Acellular Pertussis Vaccination in Preadolescents in a North American Outbreak
        Excerpt:
        Conclusions. Our data suggests that the current schedule of acellular pertussis vaccine doses is insufficient to prevent outbreaks of pertussis. We noted a markedly increased rate of disease from ages 8–12 years, proportionate to the interval since the last scheduled vaccine. Stable rates of testing ruled out selection bias. The possibility of earlier or more numerous booster doses of acellular pertussis vaccine either as part of routine immunization or for outbreak control should be entertained.
        Cheers.
        •  Thank you. So it seems one of mconvente's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          luckydog

          suppositions is correct.
          It's like when they went from the injected to oral polio vaccine. There are always costs -- solve problems coming from one direction and find new problems coming from another.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:49:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  or call them "quacks." (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, Tamar

      One word, one syllable, immediate emotional connotation.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:29:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Um, the Suggestion to Go to Her (10+ / 0-)

    Facebook page should have had a warning ... Seldom has such a huge collection of vapid quotes, attributed to one person, appeared on a single web page.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 08:13:38 PM PDT

  •  We need to keep talking about this. (10+ / 0-)

    Get the word out.  This diary helps.  And don't forget about The Jenny McCarthy Body Count Wesite, a project by the same person (I think) who does What's the Harm?, a site that shows the harm of many beliefs and practices that people follow with insufficient thought.
       Thanks to all who contributed to this, and my apologies if somebody else mentioned this in comments, but I didn't see it.

    •  "What's the harm?" reads like "Reefer Madness." (0+ / 0-)

      What they've done is mush together a bunch of real dangers with a much larger number of items that are way overblown to the point of ridiculosity, "just plain wrong," and "not even wrong."  

      "So-and-so believed in Feng Shui, and as a result, cut down a tree in a neighbor's yard and got sued!"  QED, believing in Feng Shui (a traditional Asian philosophy of architecture and landscape design) will ruin your life.

      "So-and-so was arrested for burglary and claimed they were just hunting ghosts on the property!"  QED believing in ghosts will ruin your life.

      The site even has a section on GPS navigation systems!

      "So-and-so followed his GPS blindly onto a railroad track where his rental car got hit by a train!"  QED "believing in" GPS navigation will ruin your life!

      Really, it's so bad it almost has to be snark.  

      And if they're really so concerned about beliefs that kill, they should include both theism and atheism: beliefs for and against deities have killed more people in history than anything this side of infectious disease.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:56:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am surprised there was no mention (12+ / 0-)

    of herd immunity anywhere in the article.  

    This part of it:

    But the CDC said that does not appear to be a major factor in the outbreak, since most of the youngsters who got sick had been vaccinated.
    If everyone got vaccinated then even those who the vaccine maybe didn't take may have been protected too - plus there is always a portion of the population that can't get vaccinated so when you decide not to vaccinate - you may be killing someone else's child as well.

    You never know who will show up at Netroots Nation. Will you be there?

    by ETinKC on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:02:24 PM PDT

    •  My first thought too. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gemina13, G2geek, yaque, CS11

      The fact that those nine kids had been vaccinated underscores the importance of universal vaccination and the danger posed by allowing exemptions.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:09:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In a reality-based community, one would say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wa ma

        it underscores the fact that this particular vaccine is horseshit and doesn't work.

        •  No vaccine works 100% of the time. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yaque, bythesea

          Which is why universal vaccination is so important — it doesn't matter so much if a few people remain vulnerable if no-one else can catch it and pass it on. This is what's called herd immunity.

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:39:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  WTF? (0+ / 0-)

            This isn't about herd immunity.  This is about the fact that the vaccine doesn't work!  This is about the drug company lying about results.  For years.

            By all means, let's use the vaccines that actually work.  But this one doesn't.  And I'm baffled that the obvious evidence that this one doesn't is being used as a reason why we should use it even more.  That's completely nonsensical.

            http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/...

            The rise in pertussis doesn’t seem to be related to parents’ refusing to have their children vaccinated for fear of potential side effects. In California, pertussis rates are about the same in counties with high childhood vaccination rates and low ones. And the C.D.C. reports that pertussis immunization rates have been stable or increasing since 1992.
            Again, we are a REALITY-BASED community.  Let's make up scaremongering stories.

            Here is the ACTUAL SCIENCE

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

            In the Netherlands, as in many other western countries, pertussis vaccines have been used extensively for more than 40 years. Therefore, it is conceivable that vaccine-induced immunity has affected the evolution of Bordetella pertussis. Consistent with this notion, pertussis has reemerged in the Netherlands, despite high vaccination coverage. Further, a notable change in the population structure of B. pertussis was observed in the Netherlands subsequent to the introduction of vaccination in the 1950s. Finally, we observed antigenic divergence between clinical isolates and vaccine strains, in particular with respect to the surface-associated proteins pertactin and pertussis toxin. Adaptation may have allowed B. pertussis to remain endemic despite widespread vaccination and may have contributed to the reemergence of pertussis in the Netherlands.
            •  Okay, thanks, I see. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cordgrass, yaque

              Please understand, though, that bursting in with guns blazing may not be the most effective way to convince people that a diarist has erred.

              (Also, careful throwing around the phrase “junk science” — it's often used by industries spreading FUD about solid, peer-reviewed research in favor of their own favorite results, so it tends to set off red flags in people's minds. Mine included.)

              Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
              Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
              Code Monkey like you!

              Formerly known as Jyrinx.

              by Code Monkey on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:59:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I would agree except that according to the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, cordgrass, yaque, G2geek

      article, "most" of the children who got whooping cough had been vaccinated. Absence of herd immunity should mean a few vaccinated children whose immunization was for some reason ineffective got sick. You wouldn't expect a lot of vaccinated kids to get sick even if the overall vaccination rate was quite low.
      I wonder if a) as the diarist suggests, the pertussis had mutated or the acellular vaccine was not as effective as the previous type; or b) as I suggest, the children were vaccinated for diphtheria and tetanus getting a combo that purposely excludes pertussis (bcs of parental fears) but the school information doesn't distinguish between the two types of immunization; or c) if all the children were in the same general area, might there have been a bad lot of vaccines.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 09:43:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah but killing someone else's child is GOOD. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      (Danger, snark alert!)

      Killing other peoples' children is good!  

      Less competition with your own genes!  

      Social darwinist survival of the fittest!  

      Think of the bumper stickers:  "My (son/daughter) is an infectious disease carrier at Central Elementary School!" or better yet, "My (son/daughter) gave your honor student whooping cough!"

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 12:39:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Side effects (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    Yeah, I know my comment will get denounced but the old DPT vaccine DID have side effects. The DPaT vaccine, available in '91 was a welcomed improvement.

  •  "Children Ages 19-35 Months" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque, G2geek

    "Combined Series"

    The percentages are shocking low in the graph.

    About 1 in 5 and then about 1 in 4 chidren were not getting the "Combined Series" according to the graph.

    Were they getting the vaccines individually and not as a single product?

    In a longer timeframe is the percentage much higher?

    (Are the children eventually getting the vaccines, but not on schedule?)

  •  Merck Manual Eighth Edition 1950 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque, G2geek

    "In children below 4 years of age, pertussis is dangerous, and of the acute infectious diseases it perhaps ranks first as a cause of death in infancy. Before 6 months of age, the death rate may be as high as 25%, but with good medical care this should not exceed 2 to 4%. In older children and adults, except the aged, the disease is troublesome but rarely serious."

    Page 691

    •  CDC, 2012 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      "In infants younger than 1 year of age who get pertussis, more than half (57%) must be hospitalized. The younger the infant, the more likely treatment in the hospital will be needed. Of those infants who are hospitalized with pertussis, about...1 or 2 in 100 (1.6%) will die."

      link

  •  I'm relieved my benefits finally kicked in. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crose, mconvente, yaque, G2geek

    I can pay for my pertussis/tetanus vaccinations.  I also need to get vaccinated for shingles, as I had measles when I was a toddler--I used to have a small scar from where I managed to get the socks off my hands and scratch a scab loose.

    As for Jenny McCarthy . . . well, my brothers were old enough to remember when polio was a real, true threat every summer, and Mom told us about her childhood, when typhus and diphtheria were feared as the grim reapers of the very young.  I really don't have much to say about McCarthy that wouldn't center on her lack of gray matter and overwhelming selfishness, but I truly hope that one day, she'll be enlightened.  However, if many of the anti-vaxxers lose children or have their children suffer from contracting a "childhood disease," I foresee Jenny receiving a little backlash from those who uphold her as a paragon of loving motherhood for her stance.

    Hope is a good thing--maybe the best of things--and no good thing ever dies.

    by Gemina13 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:11:55 PM PDT

  •  Need to know for sure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, yaque, G2geek
    Some doctors are thinking that this particular version of Bordetella pertussis is particularly virulent for some reason.

    Second, there's the vaccine itself.  The DTaP version is newer and has less side effects (like rashes, etc.), but it may not be as effective.

  •  There is a piece missing from this puzzle (0+ / 0-)

    And it's not what some of you will expect.

    Many people don' feel as if they are receiving adequate, attentive care from their doctors in general. We are fighting the undue influence of pharmaceutical companies in the office, with a multitude of unnecessary or even dangerous drugs.

    That has led to a profound mistrust of doctors and of medical establishments who appear to be an extension of a very unfair, and unethical model of care.

    This has spilled over into the pediatric wing via the Vaccine Wars.

    This is a technical problem that will take a social reform.

    You can rail about people not knowing science, or being stupid or what have you, but at the end of the day that won't matter to them as long as they *feel they must be on guard to that undue influence addressed above.

    This is a symptom of yet another aspect of our infrastructure that is *Broken.

    •  I would also add the undue influence of politics, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crose

      religion, and insurance companies.

      So lets recap:

      Average citizen vs Insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, politicians, and religion--IN the doctor's office when they can afford to be there.

  •  What about those who had Pertussis? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, yaque

    I had it back in '95.

    I just had my 19 yr old get a booster.  I got mine before surgery back in '09.

    "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

    by doingbusinessas on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 10:55:54 PM PDT

  •  This diary is CT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma

    Jesus, even in the article you quote:  "that experts say may reflect a problem with the effectiveness of the vaccine."

    It's a crap vaccine with crap scientific validity that the company lied about the results.  If most of the cases have been with people with up-to-date vaccinations, how can you make that "logical" leap?  I thought DKos was supposed to be reality-based.

    •  Um, “wrong” ≠ “CT.” (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, mconvente

      Whooping cough is a preventable disease for which vaccination should be adequate. Antivaxers have weakened the vaccination program. Whooping cough cases are on the rise.

      It doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to draw the line there. Now, maybe you're right — they're not actually causally related. But you don't need a CT to think they are.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:48:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I AM right, Christ (0+ / 0-)

        The fact that the vaccine itself no longer works, that the active pertussis has evolved and adapted to the vaccine has ZERO to do with the occasional crackpot parents who don't get their kids vaccinated for anything.

        •  I'm not arguing that point, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yaque

          just suggesting another tack. It looks like there was an honest mistake. A reality-based community isn't one where no-one screws up, but one where reality is central to the discussion.

          (BTW, I've seen this play out before; these days, intelligent people are often torn between knowing that antivaxers are 99% full of shit and knowing that the medical industry really is corrupt. It's a messy situation.)

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:05:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Oprah Winfrey shares the blame... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, yaque

    for pushing the anti-vaccine quackery.

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 11:48:56 PM PDT

  •  The diarist versus the science (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cordgrass

    Diarist: "This is what happens when we as a society start trusting the advice of celebrities over doctors when it comes to the health of our children."

    CDC: 84% of children under the age of 3 have received at least four DTaP shots... [Lack of vaccination] "does not appear to be a major factor in the outbreak, since most of the youngsters who got sick had been vaccinated."

    Clinical Infectious Diseases, June 2012: In a 2010 outbreak of pertussis in California, of 132 children who tested positive for pertussis, 81% were fully up to date on the whooping cough vaccine; only 8% had never been vaccinated. Vaccine effectiveness was 41% for children 2-7 years old and only 24% for children 8-12 years old.

    In short, the problem here is not with the anti-vax folk; it's with the vaccine.

    •  How does this compare to other vaccines? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      I mean, the numbers look stark, but IIUC the nature of herd immunity is that it doesn't take that many people going unimmunized for the disease to start spreading.

      The crucial bit of context would be to see numbers like that for similar outbreaks that are known to be caused by a decrease in vaccination rates.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:53:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  dude, give it up (0+ / 0-)

        Nobody here is saying that people shouldn't vaccinated.  They're just saying that getting vaccinated with crap vaccines that don't work is expensive, unnecessary, and violates the "First, do no harm" rule of medicine.

        Look at polio.  From the CDC:

        Is polio still a disease seen in the United States?

        The last cases of naturally occurring paralytic polio in the United States were in 1979, when an outbreak occurred among the Amish in several Midwestern states. From 1980 through 1999, there were 162 confirmed cases of paralytic polio cases reported. Of the 162 cases, eight cases were acquired outside the United States and imported. The last imported case caused by wild poliovirus into the United States was reported in 1993. The remaining 154 cases were vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) caused by live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).

        http://www.cdc.gov/...

        That's a case of a real vaccine that actually works.  And the few people who aren't vaccinating their children aren't causing a huge polio outbreak.

        •  Sure, but I know Britain *has* seen more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cordgrass, yaque

          measles cases since the antivax craze started. So it's not always so clear-cut.

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:07:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sensible people in the antivax craze (0+ / 0-)

            And there are some, say merely that MMR shouldn't be combined together, should be given later to at risk children with abnormal gut flora and should be carefully monitored for mercury levels.

            The vaccine industry went into overdrive mode, demonizing those people, and now there are all these crazy yahoos saying all vaccines are eviiiiiiil.

    •  THANK you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      Science!  Yay for facts.

  •  Deaths of numerous children? (0+ / 0-)

    Have all that many children really been dying of measles in Britain?  That seems improbable to me.  Yes, measles is a pain in the ass, but it's rarely deadly.

    Ah, I found the stats:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

    There have been nine deaths, including six in France
    I suppose nine could be considered "numerous".  I'll give you that.
  •  In our area, pertussis ground zero is a district.. (4+ / 0-)

    that has a very high concentration of affluent suburbanite Jenny fans who falsely claimed religious exemptions to avoid those nasty immunizations. The proportion of unvaccinated kids in their school district is the highest in the area.

    Not surprisingly, that district is ground zero in our local pertussis outbreak. As in, scores of cases rippling outward from school kids into the wider community at large, putting at least one of my older patients in the hospital.

    Mission Accomplished!

  •  Coincidence? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, bythesea
    A great deal of data suggests that the idea that whooping cough outbreaks are cyclical is an old wives tale. The overwhelming majority of pertussis cases in 2010 and in 2012 are in the 21 states that allow a personal belief exemption from immunizations. Thirteen of the eighteen states with incidence rates greater than the national rate are personal belief states.

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