Measles: Why All the Anti Vax Hype?

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Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 9.55.30 PMThe current outbreak of Ebola, which is finally tapering off, has a mortality rate of approximately 70%.  The same individuals who are damning those who are anti-vaxers made fun of anyone who expressed concern about a disease with a mortality rate of 70%.   During the mid-1960s, before the measles vaccine, the mortality rate here in the US was something like 1 in 10,000.  There are some sources which say the numbers are 1 in 1,000, but their numbers don’t properly crunch.

“…In 1963, there were about 450 deaths from measles. Meanwhile, about 12,000 people died from stomach ulcers and the likes. Just over 43,000 people died from car accidents in 1963. Over 700,000 people died from heart disease. In 1963, you were more likely to be one of the 9200 people murdered that year than to die of measles. If you were born in 1963, you were more likely to die from a congenital disease than from measles. In 1963, it was about 46 times more likely for a child to die from a congenital malformation than for someone to die from the measles….”

Did you know in 2014, nearly 650 people in the US contracted measles?  So far, this ‘epidemic’ has infected around (as of Monday) 102 people.  Until the vaccine became available, in the mid-1960s, anywhere from 4-5 million people in the US would be infected.  Of those, there would be approximately 400 deaths.   If there were nearly 650 cases of the measles last year, and there was no hype about it, and there were no attacks against parents who decided not to vaccinate their children, why now?  And now, injected into the discussion is the far right’s argument that parents “own” their children. Frankly, I’m more concerned about his statement, than I am about immunizing children.

“…Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) doubled down on his position that most vaccines should be voluntary, suggesting Monday that mandated immunization is an example of government overreach. “The state doesn’t own your children,” Paul said in an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health.” The Kentucky senator and potential 2016 hopeful received attention earlier in the day for his comment that people should be able to pick which immunizations to give their children. ..”

There is something more going on here.  From Josh Marshall, who is livid that Millennials think that parents should have a right to choose if their children should be vaccinated, to CNN’s 24-hour hate the anti-vaxers news cycle. It is like there is this planned attack on anyone who does not vaccinate their children.

The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast

The following for screen shots were taken at the same time, around 7PM on Monday evening.

Memeorandum
Memeorandum
Memeorandum
Memeorandum
Memeorandum
Memeorandum
Memeorandum
Memeorandum

“...It’s not just that anti-vaccination is selfish. It’s selfishness for its own sake, a way for snobs to distinguish themselves from the vaccinating masses. Anti-vaccination is tailormade for deeply selfish people, because it gives them a chance to show off how superior they think they are while shifting the cost of their choice on other people, from their own children to the beleaguered school officials and pediatricians who have to deal with them….”

CNN
CNN

 

Then there is the truly nasty argument between Dr. Jack Wolfson, who appears to be something of a jerk, and the father of a child who has leukemia. Wolfson has been a total ass about the family’s plight, but there is something he said that is correct. If this family knew their their daughter has leukemia, and is immune compromised, why did they take her to Disneyland when they knew there was a problem? One version of the story says that the family took their compromised child to Disneyland. Another version says the toddler was exposed at a hospital in Phoenix.

Last week, my great-niece, Cutie Catie (age 26 months) fell out of a booth and hit her head on the cement floor of the restaurant.  Everyone was in a panic.  My niece, Rachel called her father, who is a pediatric radiologist.  What should she do.  She wanted to take Catie to the ER.  Tom told her what ever she did, she was NOT to take the baby to the ER.  There were too many things going around.  Keep an eye on her.  She’s fine.  The point was, unless it was a major emergency, it was absolutely stupid to take a child to an ER when everyone is sick.  Which is why I’m asking, rather succinctly, why the hell would parents who know they have a child with leukemia, take both children to a hospital during the cold-flu season?  If one child needed chemo, then why not take them to a clinic, or at least bundle them up so much, they wouldn’t be exposed to anything?  Why take the other child?  (Just a little FYI – Catie is completely up to date with her immunizations).

There are some things that require common sense, even from people who have received all their proper vaccinations.  You don’t take a child or an elderly person into an area where infectious diseases lurk, no matter how immunized they are.  Oh, and, for all those little science loving anti-vaxing hating hysterical lemmings, it’s called being immunized, not vaccinated. Stupid is as stupid does. You don’t take a person with a compromised immune system – anywhere – during cold-flu season.

There are some who report that the instance of death via measles in the US, before the vaccine, in “modern” times was 1 death in 1000.  Those numbers are strange, when one considers that there were approximately 4,000,000 cases a year and 400 deaths.  The numbers are 1 death in 10,000.  That’s the real problem with today’s anti-anti-vax hysteria.  They aren’t getting their numbers correct.

WHO
WHO

You want the facts? Those numbers look terrifying – that 145,700 people world wide died from the measles in 2013.  Today the world’s total population is 7,221,976, 260 (and growing, constantly – I am using a number based on 2/2/2014 at 8:50PM MST.  In 2013 the world’s population was 7,136,796,000.  Of those, 145,700 died of the measles.  Now, don’t you feel a little STUPID for being hysterical about the disease?   So far, this year, 61 children have died of the flu in the US.  In Maricopa county, during the time frame where the child with leukemia was taken to the hospital for chemo, there were 333 reported cases of the flu.  There have been nearly 3000 cases in the past month. The child’s parents are fools.

The one thing missing in all of this is a healthy dose of common sense.  Kids need to be immunized against the measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, and tetanus. I’m fence sitting on Hep B, which is primarily a sexually transmitted disease.  I would not all a child of mine to have the immunization until they were older.  Today, an infant doesn’t need a polio immunization until they are older.  I would also want my children vaccinated against HPV, an a specific age.

Right now, I’m more interested in why all the hype, all of a sudden.  If there were nearly 650 cases of the measles in the US in 2014 and there were no deaths and no hysteria, why today?  Quite frankly, I’m more concerned about Rand Paul’s statement that parents OWN their children.  That is terrifying.  No one human should own another, no matter who or what they are.  There is something that almost reeks of human trafficking with that statement.  Unfortunately, he’s simply saying what everyone else in the far religious right says – parents own their kids.

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