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Measles Outbreak Casts Spotlight on Anti-Vaxxers


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#61 drdredel

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:25 PM

 Banty, on 26 January 2015 - 09:19 PM, said:

Haven't looked into it yet - a colleague got a case and man it made him miserable.

From what I understand, having been exposed to chicken pox again later in life also provides a bolster against shingles, and my son did come down with it when he was 4 (I will have been 41).

Right, so how does that bode for all of us that *had the chicken pox but will now be living in a world where live chicken pox is dead (since all young people are vaccinated against it)... aren't we basically guaranteeing that the majority of adults are going to suffer through shingles?
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#62 anniemargret

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:40 PM

 Traveler, on 26 January 2015 - 08:42 PM, said:

I sure remember getting chicken pox. Not that I needed a party to do so back then. Now I get to look forward to Shingles...Ugh.

Get the shingles shot! I had a very mild case of it several years back, started out as a mini-rash on my back and the itchiness turned to God-awful pain.

I took every shot known to mankind when I went to Thailand for my son's wedding there in November. I had no qualms about taking them and I had no repercussions from them.

Now if you all want to talk GMOs.... that's a horse of a different color!
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#63 Banty

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:00 PM

 drdredel, on 26 January 2015 - 09:25 PM, said:

Right, so how does that bode for all of us that *had the chicken pox but will now be living in a world where live chicken pox is dead (since all young people are vaccinated against it)... aren't we basically guaranteeing that the majority of adults are going to suffer through shingles?

Until the rest of us who got the wild virus work through our lives.
But there is the shingles shot ..
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#64 drdredel

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:33 AM

 Banty, on 26 January 2015 - 11:00 PM, said:

Until the rest of us who got the wild virus work through our lives.
But there is the shingles shot ..

yeah... but no one talks about that - that's my point.

I would love to get your (and DC's and J-CA's) take on The Atlantic article. It's my best evidence for why I think the CDC is just as unreliable a source as any. Or to be more accurate that it's impossible to know when what they're saying is based on solid evidence or (as the article describes it) "gibberish".
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#65 Traveler

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:15 AM

From what little I have read, I see that it is around 50-60% effective. However, couldnt find then actual risk of getting shingles, except that it affects one in three adults and there are a million cases per year. Given some 100 million adults, these numbers seem out of whack.
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#66 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:46 AM

 Banty, on 26 January 2015 - 09:19 PM, said:

From what I understand, having been exposed to chicken pox again later in life also provides a bolster against shingles, and my son did come down with it when he was 4 (I will have been 41).

Yep, that's a booster. On the other hand, you're about the age where it's getting seriously advisable (also look into the TDaP -- your usual DT booster has NEW! IMPROVED! pertussis coverage.) At latest, when you're starting to spend time around little kids (in my case, grandkids. I hope.)

All in all, 60-something is a good time to review your vaccination status for a bunch of things, including pneumonia.
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#67 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:49 AM

 drdredel, on 26 January 2015 - 09:25 PM, said:

Right, so how does that bode for all of us that *had the chicken pox but will now be living in a world where live chicken pox is dead (since all young people are vaccinated against it)... aren't we basically guaranteeing that the majority of adults are going to suffer through shingles?

How about getting a booster and quit worrying? A couple of generations without varicella zoster (which is a human-only virus) and the damned thing will be extinct like smallpox, and after that nobody will have to worry about it again.

Note: a shingles outbreak also means you can infect someone who is immunocompromised -- and as we get older, more and more of us are visiting friends etc. on chemotherapy. Been there, done that -- it's one reason I got a bunch of booster.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
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These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
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#68 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 08:51 AM

Regarding the shingles shot:

 drdredel, on 27 January 2015 - 12:33 AM, said:

yeah... but no one talks about that - that's my point.

drd, time to crawl out of your cave. Signs about the shingles shot are up in every pharmacy I've been in for the past decade. Including Costco.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#69 Banty

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:19 AM

 D. C. Sessions, on 27 January 2015 - 08:51 AM, said:

Regarding the shingles shot:



drd, time to crawl out of your cave. Signs about the shingles shot are up in every pharmacy I've been in for the past decade. Including Costco.

He's not talking about the shot itself - he's talking about how supposedly no one is talking about that this is a side effect of the chicken pox shot for children.
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#70 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 10:18 AM

 Banty, on 27 January 2015 - 09:19 AM, said:

He's not talking about the shot itself - he's talking about how supposedly no one is talking about that this is a side effect of the chicken pox shot for children.

It's a common topic wherever the vaccine "controversy" is discussed. The same is said for measles, mumps, etc.: that since vaccine-induced immunity is weaker than immunity from the wild infection, we're just setting up for some sort of huge epidemic down the road. The counter is just what I wrote above.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#71 Banty

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 10:29 AM

 D. C. Sessions, on 27 January 2015 - 10:18 AM, said:

It's a common topic wherever the vaccine "controversy" is discussed. The same is said for measles, mumps, etc.: that since vaccine-induced immunity is weaker than immunity from the wild infection, we're just setting up for some sort of huge epidemic down the road. The counter is just what I wrote above.

 D. C. Sessions, on 27 January 2015 - 10:18 AM, said:

It's a common topic wherever the vaccine "controversy" is discussed. The same is said for measles, mumps, etc.: that since vaccine-induced immunity is weaker than immunity from the wild infection, we're just setting up for some sort of huge epidemic down the road. The counter is just what I wrote above.

Well this is a somewhat different objection (although yes it's a fave of the anti-vacc movement) - even if chicken pox is eradicated, there are all the exposed people, who will not be re-exposed normally, who now are vulnerable to shingles. Where before, they'd have gotten their boosters just from the disease re-circulating through the population.

So that's counted as a bad effect of vaccination.
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#72 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 10:37 AM

That's up there with the GOP congressman recounting a case of medical malpractice to lead to his point that having health insurance isn't always a good thing.

Stupid people make stupid arguments, and sometimes smarter people make stupid arguments when they think their audience will fall for them.
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#73 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:16 AM

 Banty, on 27 January 2015 - 10:29 AM, said:

Well this is a somewhat different objection (although yes it's a fave of the anti-vacc movement) - even if chicken pox is eradicated, there are all the exposed people, who will not be re-exposed normally, who now are vulnerable to shingles. Where before, they'd have gotten their boosters just from the disease re-circulating through the population.

So that's counted as a bad effect of vaccination.

And when you boil it down, it comes to "we should accept near-universal suffering and some deaths among children, plus some shingles among adults, forever rather than have a few generations suffer the inconvenience of vaccinations and adult boosters."
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#74 Banty

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:23 AM

 D. C. Sessions, on 27 January 2015 - 11:16 AM, said:

And when you boil it down, it comes to "we should accept near-universal suffering and some deaths among children, plus some shingles among adults, forever rather than have a few generations suffer the inconvenience of vaccinations and adult boosters."

Right. And that's what usually shuffled under the rug of what's "natural" and downplaying the complications and deaths.
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#75 drdredel

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 01:13 PM

 D. C. Sessions, on 27 January 2015 - 08:51 AM, said:

Regarding the shingles shot:



drd, time to crawl out of your cave. Signs about the shingles shot are up in every pharmacy I've been in for the past decade. Including Costco.

"Signs about the shot" at Costco is not an effective public policy, in my opinion. If we're genuinely concerned about a massive shingles outbreak (and based on what you guys are saying... we are? I didn't know, I was just speculating from common sense) then the corrective course of action is to instruct all doctors to insist on this booster for their adult patients when they come in for routine physicals, just like they do for kids!

Everyone remember how in Hitchhiker's Guide, Arthur's house was demolished because he failed to notice the plans about the impending demolition posted in some government office sub-basement on a littered cork board? This strikes me as a similarly farcical campaign.

Again, I'm not the one against the vaccine. I'm pointing out how easy it is to find problems with the Government's approach to public health policy and then to assume that if they're incompetent on points A, B, and R, then how is one to know where they're NOT incompetent?

Honestly, I'm surprised to be getting so much push-back from you guys on the veracity of government sourced info. I don't feel like it's very hard to find reams of evidence of the Government doing things either ass-backwards or outright maliciously.
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#76 Banty

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 01:39 PM

 drdredel, on 27 January 2015 - 01:13 PM, said:

"Signs about the shot" at Costco is not an effective public policy, in my opinion. If we're genuinely concerned about a massive shingles outbreak (and based on what you guys are saying... we are? I didn't know, I was just speculating from common sense) then the corrective course of action is to instruct all doctors to insist on this booster for their adult patients when they come in for routine physicals, just like they do for kids!


There is no such thing as a "massive shingles outbreak" unless you're talking about an individual. It's not a usually transmissible disease.

Shingles is a re-activation of the virus within the individual, and that's the form it takes. Once you have it (it's in the herpes family) the virus maintains itself in low numbers in the nervous system.

So, when that individual hits middle age or has their immune response lowered for other reasons, they might develop shingles. So it's a medical question on an individual level - what is their age or current circumstance, did they have the CP, did they have subsequent exposure, etc. etc. It's dealt with by the physicians, with some public education like D.C. described.

Not sure what else you would have - that's how the yearly flu vaccines are handled.
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#77 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 02:30 PM

 drdredel, on 27 January 2015 - 01:13 PM, said:

If we're genuinely concerned about a massive shingles outbreak (and based on what you guys are saying... we are? I didn't know, I was just speculating from common sense) then the corrective course of action is to instruct all doctors to insist on this booster for their adult patients when they come in for routine physicals, just like they do for kids!

My old one did (and I got several for catch-up) and one of the first things my new one did on my first visit was ask about vaccination status. We'll be going over it again in a couple of months in more detail at my yearly.

Of course, this assumes among other things that people actually have yearly health checks [1]. Most don't.

[1] A bit of a reminder, no matter what the official recommendation might be: PSA tests are cheap and if you get them every year the comparison to baseline can get you a warning in time to maybe save you from what my next-door neighbor in Phoenix went (perhaps still is) through. Although it's possible he might have mercifully died by now.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
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"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#78 LFC

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 06:00 PM

Sullivan just covered a lot of this same ground, but one piece he linked to actually cited a study done in the Netherlands that looked at measles infections and the immunity rates to keep them from spreading.

Quote

In a large study that observed measles infections in the Netherlands over decades, scientists calculated that 95.7 per cent of a population needs to be immune to measles to prevent regular outbreaks. And since no vaccine is perfectly effective, even more than that number need to be vaccinated to protect the whole community.

I believe the measles vaccine has a rate of failure of about 2-3%, so we're looking at a need of about a 97-98% vaccination rate. Once we fall below that, we can expect regular resurgences of the disease. And California, apparently ground zero for vaccination refusal among populated areas in the U.S., has areas that definitely fall short.

Quote

In California’s Santa Monica-Malibu school district, 11.5 per cent of parents refuse to vaccinate their kids. In nearby Orange County, the figure is 8.6 per cent. In Beverly Hills it’s five per cent—almost, but not quite, a safe level of vaccine coverage.

As the non-vaccinated become a larger portion of the population, the outbreaks will only get worse. In fact, Sullivan links to a piece that shows just how bad it got in rather recent history. Anybody who would willingly put others at this kind of risk can only be labeled as selfish.

Quote

What many forget is that we had a massive outbreak of measles in the United States from 1989–1991. While our 644 cases in 2014 seems high compared with recent years, 25 years ago measles incidence spiked to 18,000 cases per year, with a total of more than 55,000 infections before the outbreak began to dwindle. It was the largest measles outbreak in this country since the 1970s. … Despite our advances and our modernity and our status as a developed country, we still saw 123 measles deaths during this epidemic—here, in the United States, where we get plenty of Vitamin A. There were also 11,000 hospitalizations—fully one-fifth of people infected with measles became sick enough to be hospitalized.

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#79 Traveler

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 06:34 PM

Nice summary LFC. Hopefully drd might pay attention to this. :)
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#80 Bact PhD

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 06:58 PM

 drdredel, on 26 January 2015 - 08:32 PM, said:

Ok, so, please consider...

for years and years I've been reading sentiment like this:
http://www.salon.com...u_vaccine_rant/
about the overwhelming need get the flu vaccine.

then in 2009 the Atlantic printed this:
http://www.theatlant...-matter/307723/

Which pretty definitively states that at BEST we have no clue if the flu vaccine does anything whatsoever and most likely it doesn't owing to the data from the years where they used entirely the wrong strains of flu and the numbers didn't budge in any direction.

More importantly the article notes that doing an ACTUAL study on the efficacy of the flu vaccine would be deemed somewhere between unethical and murderous and so no such study has ever been done.

However the CDC will staunchly go to bat for said efficacy and people are herded en masse to get this (as far as we know, useless) shot.

Now, I know this makes me a crackpot, tying myself into knots (along with Bill Maher who appears to share this opinion - even though he advocates for real vaccines that actually work - just like I do), but my larger point here is about trust of government institutions... and my position that as long as the CDC isn't forthright about the wholesale mystery as to what the flu shot does or doesn't do, and so long as they continue to lie about how certain they are about what it DOES do, I'll continue to treat all their assertions as highly dubious. Because that's the rational thing to do.

I'll address the 2009 Atlantic article first.

Quote

Majumdar, the Ottawa researcher, says he believes that evidence of a benefit among children is established and that public-health officials should try to protect seniors by immunizing children, health-care workers, and other people around them, and thus reduce the spread of the flu.

For the last several years, our community has been something of a guinea pig testing this very notion. The county Health Department offers FluMist given at the schools, free of charge, early in the school year. The idea being to limit the spread among the school kids that have robust immune systems and keep Junior or Juniorette from passing it to Granny who, even if she gets the newer (introduced in the last year or so) super-shot, may not be well protected because her immune system isn't that great at this point. The last report in my local paper citing the county stats indicate that this approach is bearing fruit.

As far as Mrs. Imus' comments cited in the Salon article, all I can say is WTF?!?
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