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234 thoughts on “Measles

  1. windriven says:

    backer-

    unsubstantiated statistics that are “thrown about these days” are useless or worse. It you are going to quote statistics you must include a citation.

    This is from the CDC:

    “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported yesterday that the rise in measles cases so far this year is mostly imported, due to infected people coming into the US from other countries.

    For the seven years up to 2007, an average of 62 cases of measles a year have been reported to the CDC. But this year, up to 25th April, a total of 64 cases, 54 of which are imported from countries outside the US, have been reported. This is the highest number for this time of year since 2001, said the agency. 63 of the 64 patients had not been vaccinated.”

    And this from the WHO:

    “All regions, with the exception of one, have achieved the United Nations goal of reducing measles mortality by 90% from 2000 to 2010, two years ahead of target. Vaccinating nearly 700 million children against measles, through large-scale immunization campaigns and increased routine immunization coverage, has prevented an estimated 4.3 million measles deaths in less than a decade.”

    Don’t make us do all of the research for you. And please read these quotes before you respond.

    In your penultimate paragraph you cite 1-3:1000, .03-.1%. In the last paragraph you speak off 55k cases in three years with .003% fatalities. You compare apples (the US) with oranges (the world) and quote unattributed death statistics.

    Dude, you have got to slow down and think before you write. People will not take you seriously if you rattle off like a string of firecrackers making a lot of noise but achieving nothing.

    And when you say things like: “Trust me i can tell just by reading his rantings that SD is brilliant. ” you mark yourself for derision. SD may or may not be brilliant. If s/he is, s/he works hard to bury that brilliance under a large mound of steaming manure.

  2. backer says:

    unsubstantiated statistics that are “thrown about these days” are useless or worse. It you are going to quote statistics you must include a citation.

    ok, here you go just read the opening paragraph

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

    In your penultimate paragraph you cite 1-3:1000, .03-.1%. In the last paragraph you speak off 55k cases in three years with .003% fatalities. You compare apples (the US) with oranges (the world) and quote unattributed death statistics

    no i didnt these are both US statistics.

    i was actually being generous…

    1950-1959
    500,000 cases anually/ 500 total deaths

    so it is actually more like 500/5,000,000

    this is where i read it…

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/4453053

    please correct me if i am wrong

    <blockquotAnd when you say things like: “Trust me i can tell just by reading his rantings that SD is brilliant. ” you mark yourself for derision. SD may or may not be brilliant. If s/he is, s/he works hard to bury that brilliance under a large mound of steaming manure.

    brilliance has nothing to do with intelligence. I know some very intelligent people that are FAR from brilliant. I say SD is brilliant because his/her line or reasoning is forward thinking. Were Jackson Pollacks paintings brilliant for there content or their impact? I would have to go with the latter.

  3. Scott says:

    backer,

    I think you should reread your citations. The JSTOR paper indicates 500 deaths per year, not total. That death rate closely matches the CDC figure.

  4. teeps29 says:

    Backer gave it away much earlier in this thread: “THIS is why i do not trust allopathic medicine, because it seems to be more about pride, than progress.” Using that term confirms he’s woo through and through.

  5. overshoot says:

    Measles case mortality is a tricky subject. Back before the vaccine when it was widespread in the USA and other developed countries the reported incidence and the reported death rates ran to a case mortality of about 0.1% — but the reported cases were miniscule compared to any realistic estimate.

    Now we have relatively few measles cases and much better reporting, and the case mortality is running somewhere in the 0.2% range. Even allowing for a disproportionate number of immunocompromised patients, this would suggest that the earlier figures underestimated deaths approximately as much as cases. The reasonable conclusion is that without vaccination, we could expect somewhere in the neighborhood of one death per 1000 population cohort — about 4000 per year in the USA.

    In any given year influenza deaths total an order of magnitude higher — but that’s dominated by geriatric patients, where the measles deaths concentrate in the young. In terms of life-years lost, measles is far worse. That’s without considering the neurological sequelae from measles, which once caused the majority of deafness and blindness and a lot of brain damage.

  6. EricG says:

    @ backer

    you touch on this concept a few times, notably sambucol:

    “point taken…maybe i should say no side effect observed to date.”

    You are dancing around gap science. you basically assert that because A=/=B and A =/= C, A must equal D. even if we have no proof, whats the harm in trying D? Right?

    http://whatstheharm.net/

  7. backer says:

    scott-

    I was extrapolating from an article i had read before that said 3-4 million cases with 500 deaths. I couldnt seem to find it so i thought the jstor article was reading 500,000 annual cases with 500 total deaths, since that somewhat jived with what i had previously read. any way i found it

    here is it i knew i wasnt crazy…

    http://www.measlesinitiative.org/mi-files/Tools/Presentations/Partners%20for%20Measles%20Advocacy%20Meeting/Outbreaks_Emergencies/gallagher%20measles%20initiative%20talk.ppt

    look for “Annual Measles Disease Burden
    United States, 1950s”

  8. backer says:

    eric G-

    you touch on this concept a few times, notably sambucol:
    “point taken…maybe i should say no side effect observed to date.”
    You are dancing around gap science. you basically assert that because A=/=B and A =/= C, A must equal D. even if we have no proof, whats the harm in trying D? Right?

    but to humor you, here is a source that you might trust about it

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-elder.html

    I am actually really glad i found this because our government rates it as a B for influenza

    B=Good scientific evidence for this use;

    Maybe big brother isnt as dumb as i thought. I wonder why they havent been promoting it during the big flu scare?

  9. backer says:

    hey weing-

    in light of the NIH find, would you recommend sambucol?

  10. windriven says:

    @ backer-

    ” ok, here you go just read the opening paragraph

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

    This is the first paragraph of the link you provided:

    “Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. The disease of measles and the virus that causes it share the same name. The disease is also called rubeola.”

    This is apropos of what exactly?

    “no i didnt these are both US statistics.

    i was actually being generous…

    1950-1959
    500,000 cases anually/ 500 total deaths”

    backer, the years you cite are BEFORE routine vaccination started in the US (1963 if I remember correctly).

    “this is where i read it…

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/4453053

    please correct me if i am wrong”

    Happy to correct you. The article you cite is from 1983, more than 25 years ago. Today the figure is about 65 cases a year. I quote from the CDC:

    The number of reported measles cases has declined from 763,094 in 1958 to fewer than 150 cases reported per year since 1997 (1). During 2000–2007,* a total of 29–116 measles cases (mean: 62, median: 56) were reported annually. However, during January 1–April 25, 2008, a total of 64 confirmed measles cases were preliminarily reported to CDC, the most reported by this date for any year since 2001. Of the 64 cases, 54 were associated with importation of measles from other countries into the United States, and 63 of the 64 patients were unvaccinated or had unknown or undocumented vaccination status.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm57e501a1.htm

    “brilliance has nothing to do with intelligence.”

    And finally, the definition of brilliant that I would use is something like this: having or showing great intelligence, talent, quality, etc. (dictionary.com). My previous statement vis a vis SD stands. SD is a rambling grenade tosser who generates much gas but little light. How does that equate with brilliance?

  11. Chris says:

    Repeating stuff I did for another thread where backer pushed information from dubious sites (healthsentinal):

    Ooh, it took a bit but I found some real information on measles incidence in the first half of the 20th century. It is a table on page 9 of:
    http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf

    I could cut and paste the pertinent part of the table and edit out the other diseases. The question is what happened between 1960 and 1970?

    Year…. Rate per 100000 of population who got measles

    1912 . . . 310.0
    1920 . . . 480.5
    1925 . . . 194.3
    1930 . . . 340.8
    1935 . . . 584.6
    1940 . . . 220.7
    1945 . . . 110.2
    1950 . . . 210.1
    1955 . . . 337.9
    1960 . . . 245.4
    1965 . . . 135.1
    1970 . . . . 23.2
    1975 . . . . 11.3
    1980 . . . . . 5.9
    1985 . . . . . 1.2
    1990 . . . . .11.2
    1991 . . . . . .3.8
    1992 . . . . . .0.9
    1993 . . . . . .0.1
    1994 . . . . . .0.4
    1995 . . . . . .0.1
    1996 . . . . . .0.2
    1997 . . . . . 0.1

  12. windriven says:

    @Chris-
    Fabulous work! Look at the way measles incidence crashes after mass vaccinations began!

    @backer-
    Repeat after me: I will not drink the Kool-Aid, I will not drink …

  13. backer says:

    windriven, chris

    “Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. The disease of measles and the virus that causes it share the same name. The disease is also called rubeola.”

    oops second paragraph

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

    backer, the years you cite are BEFORE routine vaccination started in the US

    this was my intention, i am little confused, i thought you were a little more adept than this, or maybe its me not clearly explaining my position. either way here goes again

    my theory is that measles is more lethal now than PRIOR to vaccination, possibly as a result of vaccinations changing the epidemiology of measles.

    so here goes…

    measles cases PROIR to vaccination 3-4 million annually with 500 deaths

    as i explained to scott, i couldnt find the original doc. that revealed the 3-4 million number. I extrapolated from the jstor article to get my numbers. i was thinking the jstor article was describing 500,000 annual cases and 500 TOTAL deaths, since this was somewhat in line with the previous article i read. however this did not seem to be what the jstor article was saying.

    Either way it doesnt matter, I ended up finding the original doc. (with the 3-4 million number) and here it is, slide #3…

    http://www.measlesinitiative.org/mi-files/Tools/Presentations/Partners%20for%20Measles%20Advocacy%20Meeting/Outbreaks_Emergencies/gallagher%20measles%20initiative%20talk.ppt

    so BEFORE the vaccine was introduced the death rate in the US was about .0001% or 1 in 6000-8000

    CURRENTLY in the US the death rate is estimated at .001-.003% or 1-3 in 1000

    so a minimum of 6 times deadlier than it used to be. this increase could be attributed to one of many possibilities including but not limited to vaccine usage changing the epidemiology of measles.

    was that clear?

    It is just a theory, and by no means to i firmly believe this to be the case. It does however, IMO, justify further investigation.

  14. windriven says:

    Good gravy backer, let the clutch out!

    Pre-vaccination you were looking at a fatality rate across the entire cross-section of the American population. Now you are looking at the fatality rate among mostly (see earlier posts for citation) recent immigrants, some of whom may be undocumented, and some others who belong to religious or social cults that eschew SBM in favor of homeopathy or other quackery. No sh*t – they’re more likely to die. By what stretch of the imagination do you intuit this to reflect increasing lethality of the virus?

    No jumping around on your answer now backer. Just stick to one theme here and I’ll be willing to work through it with you. But I’m not interested in going off on a merry chase that bounces from one notion to another.

    Look at it this way: the lethality for a vaccinated member of a herd with immunity and in a culture that embraces SBM is, for every intent and purpose, ZERO!

  15. backer says:

    windriven

    Pre-vaccination you were looking at a fatality rate across the entire cross-section of the American population. Now you are looking at the fatality rate among mostly (see earlier posts for citation) recent immigrants, some of whom may be undocumented, and some others who belong to religious or social cults that eschew SBM in favor of homeopathy or other quackery.

    i see no corollary here. It doesnt matter if the people dying are recent immigrants.

    if there are 1000 documented cases of immigrants with measles and 3 die, my theory is still relevant. Even if no cases are reported from people indigenous to the US the fatality rate is what is relevant NOT where they are from.

    Look at it this way: the lethality for a vaccinated member of a herd with immunity and in a culture that embraces SBM is, for every intent and purpose, ZERO!

    uuuuuuh what do you think .0001% is? for every intent and purpose….ZERO! but for some reason we felt that zero wasnt good enough.

  16. windriven says:

    Dammit backer, did you bother to view the entire PowerPoint you linked to above??? The rebuttal to your thesis is right there in the graphs and accompanying text.

    This seems ever so much like the embodiment of the adage that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Except you have led yourself to the water!

    Are you familiar with Occam’s Razor? Please go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

    Please.

    Of course sometimes the simple answer isn’t the right answer. But that puts one in the realm of making an extraordinary claim. And in that case it is incumbent on the claimant to provide extraordinary proof.

  17. windriven says:

    Oh backer, I tire of this. How on earth can you say:

    “i see no corollary here. It doesnt matter if the people dying are recent immigrants.

    if there are 1000 documented cases of immigrants with measles and 3 die, my theory is still relevant. Even if no cases are reported from people indigenous to the US the fatality rate is what is relevant NOT where they are from.”

    The immigrants are largely un-vaccinated. Please review ALL of the slides in the very interesting PowerPoint that you linked to.

    You have not addressed my objections at all. Un-vaccinated people and those who eschew SBM are at greater risk of dying than those who are vaccinated and who seek treatment from MDs. There is no conundrum, no inexplicable mortality, no nothing except the pathetic stupidity of those who refuse to avail themselves of the available technology.

  18. Chris says:

    windriven:

    The immigrants are largely un-vaccinated. Please review ALL of the slides in the very interesting PowerPoint that you linked to.

    I looked at it twice, and I could not find a slide that dealt with only immigrants. Now I know that a couple of the incidents involving importation from Japan were not immigrants, but people who were temporarily visiting (the one in Grant County, WA was a church conference, and I remember another some other year was a participant of a Little League Tournament).

    What was particularly interesting of the map of the State of Washington. The county (Yakima, which I heard pronounced in the most amusing way last week by Dr. Racanello on his 62nd TWiV podcast!) that has a large immigrant population from Mexico had one of the lowest levels of vaccine refusal.

    Last week I got to meet a blogger from Mexico, http://papaesceptico.com/, at our local Drinking Skeptically. He told us that while Mexico has lots of fun superstitions and other issues, vaccines is not one of them. There is very high compliance. He is also not an immigrant, he was visiting his sister who may or may not be an immigrant (I believe she has some academic assignment at the university).

  19. backer says:

    windriven-

    you are revealing more about yourself than you know.

    The immigrants are largely un-vaccinated.

    So? i don’t doubt the efficacy of MMR, i just think it is unwarranted.

    You have not addressed my objections at all. Un-vaccinated people and those who eschew SBM are at greater risk of dying than those who are vaccinated and who seek treatment from MDs.

    So tell me oh surfeiter of vocabulary. If i do go to the doctor what will they give me for the measles?

    second…do you realize people that take showers are at a greater risk of dying than those who do not?

    Odds of fatally slipping in bath or shower: 1 in 2,232

    Sooooooo, that being said a fatality rate of 1 in 6000 seems even more EXCEEDINGLY small when i have almost 3 times greater chance of dying in the shower. I wonder what pharma company is gonna make the “no shower slippy” vaccine.

  20. windriven says:

    backer, I have no idea what your last post is supposed to mean. Perhaps you are a genius of such depth that mere mortals such as myself have no hope of grasping your brilliance.

    On the other hand, maybe you’re just off your meds.

    Examine this sentence:

    “i don’t doubt the efficacy of MMR, i just think it is unwarranted”

    Now how can a sane person possibly parse that? You seem obsessed with the fatality rate of unvaccinated individuals, you say you don’t doubt the efficacy of the vaccine, but you nonetheless think the vaccine is unwarranted. Do you understand why I’m suffering cognitive dissonance?

    So stay out of the shower, backer. But please, stay down wind.

  21. backer says:

    backer, I have no idea what your last post is supposed to mean. Perhaps you are a genius of such depth that mere mortals such as myself have no hope of grasping your brilliance.

    or, like you suggest, i am just crazy, this may be true, but life is more interesting that way.

    I really, really like random things that relate in particular ways. Particularly if that thing weighs about the same in relation to itself.

    there…i am just crazy

    Now how can a sane person possibly parse that? You seem obsessed with the fatality rate of unvaccinated individuals, you say you don’t doubt the efficacy of the vaccine, but you nonetheless think the vaccine is unwarranted. Do you understand why I’m suffering cognitive dissonance?

    easy…i do not doubt that the vaccine works, never have, just ask chris about it. We went round and round in another debate. I just fail to see why we need a vaccine (in the US) when the fatality rate is so low. that is why i related it to the shower slippage. I just have one simple question for you…

    Do you REALLY think i should stop showering just because there is a slight risk of death by slippage?

    if you said no, then WHY IN THE HELL do we need to prevent a disease that was 3 times less likely to kill me than my shower?

  22. Chris says:

    backer, the only time the MMR will be unwarranted will be when all three diseases cease to exist on the planet.

    The slide show you linked showed that as long as measles exists and there is travel between countries the vaccine will be needed. Also, you will note that the outbreak in San Diego was caused by an [b]American[/b] kid who traveled to a developed country in Europe (Switzerland), and then infected a bunch of kids in his school, plus some too young to get vaccinated in a doctor’s office. That is shown on Slide #10.

    You should also read the words under the slides. Here is what is said under Slide #8:

    But the measles story in the US has changed a bit in 2008. This year, we have had the highest number of measles cases reported year to date in 12 years.
    This increase does not appear to be related toe increased importations within the US but rather an increase in spread within the US.

    So far in 2008, we have had 7 outbreaks, predominantly in unvaccinated children. Which we have highlighted in 3 MMWR articles.

    This upsurge in measles cases has received much media attention in the US.

    And Slide #9:

    Between Jan and July of this year:
    131 cases from 15 states and DC
    15 (11%) cases hospitalized including 4 in children under the age of 15 months; no deaths were reported
    17 importations
    8 foreign visitors (all unvaccinated)
    9 US residents (all unvaccinated)
    99 (76%) additional cases linked to importations or virologic evidence of importation
    15 cases unknown source
    123 cases in US residents
    91% cases unvaccinated or unknown vaccination status

    and Slide #12:

    Of the 131 measles cases, 123 were US residents. The cases have occurred primarily in children and adolescents. 16 cases occurred in children under the age of 12 months for whom vaccine is not yet vaccinated

    and Slide #13:

    Of the 112/123 US measles cases were “unvaccinated” or had unknown vaccination status. 95 persons were “eligible “ to have received vaccine. =65% of these persons were unvaccinated because of philosolpical or religious beliefs.

    Outbreaks in Il

    25 school age children…all homeschooler, none vaccinated

    WA state: 16 school aged children; none vaccinated; 11 homeschooled.

    and Slide #22:

    You can see from a comparison of these two tables side by side that the pattern of importations is quite different than it has been in previous years. In 2008, the majority of our documented importations have been associated with European countries where measles outbreaks have recently been reported including 5 cases from Italy, 3 from Switzerland and 2 each from Isreal and Belgium. This is quite different what we had seen previously with many imported measles cases coming from Asia or developing countries.

  23. pmoran says:

    And Backer, don’t forget that deaths are only part of the story. Measles can be a very serious illness in the very young and in adults. Encephalitis can leave survivors with serious neurological disability and blindness.

    It may be true that most healthy and well-nourished children will survive an attack of the measles, but we advise vaccination partly to protect more vulnerable members of the public.

    If you do now agree that vaccination works, stand back a bit and look at the whole picture. The MMR vaccine can prevent a lot of human misery and disability, as well as the deaths.

  24. Dawn says:

    @Backer: ask my mother if measles is harmless. While she (at age 8) survived them without too many problems, her 2 year old brother nearly died. The neighbor boy across the street, age 5, DID die of measles encephalitis. One of her classmates went deaf (at least, that’s what the class was told – that the one girl would be going to the state school for the deaf). They had 18 out of 25 2nd grade children (my mother’s class) out with measles within a 2 week period. Granted, this was in the 1940′s. However, it was in a city with good sewage, clean water, healthy food.

    Ask my mother, her brother, the parents of her friends if they preferred the measles or having an MMR.

  25. Dawn says:

    Oops..for the Smily, please read as …age 8). Hit the shift key a little too soon!

  26. windriven says:

    @ backer

    “Do you REALLY think i should stop showering just because there is a slight risk of death by slippage?”

    I really couldn’t care less. Your hygiene is your business. Personally, I shower daily.

    “if you said no, then WHY IN THE HELL do we need to prevent a disease that was 3 times less likely to kill me than my shower?”

    Because measles does kill, because it sometimes leads to permanent disabilities, and because it keeps children away from school, playgrounds and playing fetch with their dogs.

    That is asking why someone would be vaccinated against the common cold, were such a vaccine available. Colds rarely kill. But they are a blight on the human condition. I for one would leap at the opportunity to be vaccinated.

    Now getting back to the point, YOU should be vaccinated if for no other reason than to do your part in achieving herd immunity so that perhaps some day measles will go the way of smallpox. The risk to you is zero and the benefit to your fellow man is great.

  27. backer says:

    pmoran-

    And Backer, don’t forget that deaths are only part of the story. Measles can be a very serious illness in the very young and in adults. Encephalitis can leave survivors with serious neurological disability and blindness.

    yes i agree, and i think this is more unfortunate than death many times. however i still fail to see it’s warrant in the US.

    …but we advise vaccination partly to protect more vulnerable members of the public.
    …The MMR vaccine can prevent a lot of human misery and disability, as well as the deaths.

    This is a complete cop out, and again there is no corollary. People say this all the time but somehow it ONLY applies to vaccines. look all i am saying is that in any other circumstance “X” acitivity would be considered safe. let’s take a look…

    all of these things are considered safe….

    driving
    walking
    swimming

    odds of dying from…(1 year odds)

    driving 1 in 6,584
    walking 1 in 48,420
    swimming 1 in 83,365
    measles (during their peak) 1 in 300,000

    vaccines arent about helping humanity, they are about humanities desire for control. If we REALLY cared about humanity then we should have addressed driving, walking, and swimming before we tackled measles.

  28. windriven says:

    backer-

    You neglect the simple reality that driving, walking and swimming all have utility to humans, measles does not. Further, mankind has and continues to address these issues. That’s why we have seatbelts, airbags, clothing with reflective stripes, life guards, and so forth.

    And what are we to make of this bizarre locution: “vaccines arent about helping humanity, they are about humanities (sic) desire for control.”

    Yes, humans do try to exert control over their environment. That is why we have agriculture, why we live in homes, why we have furnaces and computers. It is one of the characteristics that separates us from howler monkeys. It is why we have science and medicine. It is why the human lifespan has nearly doubled since the beginning of the 20th century.

    Be careful in the shower, backer. It’s a dangerous place.

  29. Scott says:

    yes i agree, and i think this is more unfortunate than death many times. however i still fail to see it’s warrant in the US.

    Having 1 in 1000 children die, and more be permanently disabled, is NOT enough to warrant use of the vaccine? If that’s your claim, please do elucidate what WOULD be enough.

    In your answer, please keep in mind the fact that the only reason measles rates are currently low is thanks to widespread use of the vaccine. Without vaccination, very nearly every child will contract measles.

    odds of dying from…(1 year odds)
    driving 1 in 6,584
    walking 1 in 48,420
    swimming 1 in 83,365
    measles (during their peak) 1 in 300,000

    Please explain how this is anything other than comparing apples to aircraft carriers, given that deaths from measles may be very easily and safely prevented by vaccination, where there is no equivalent means to prevent road deaths.

    Your comparison here completely neglects both risk/benefit and the existence of alternatives.

  30. backer says:

    windriven-

    your brightness is dimming…

    you neglect the simple reality that driving, walking and swimming all have utility to humans, measles does not

    ah, young one you are so naive. Your statement has no basis, this is what geneticists said about non-coding DNA 10 yrs ago. Hurricanes are another good example of why your statement is false. see here…

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,907967,00.html

    Biology is simply to vast and complex to know the true impact and possible benefits of something like the measles.

    Further, mankind has and continues to address these issues. That’s why we have seatbelts, airbags, clothing with reflective stripes, life guards, and so forth.

    all of these thing would compare to medicine, NOT vaccine.

    do seatbelts/airbags prevent accidents? no, but in case you get into one they can help.

    let me put it another way…

    does penicillin prevent disease? no but in case you get one they can help

    do life guards prevent drowning? no they are there if you get into trouble

    even your best one, clothing with reflective stripes. does this help during the day? nope

    a vaccine comparison to automobiles goes something like this…

    We noble citizens of the world are going to do humanity a huge favor, we think since cars cause a lot of death and injury we will ban their use, trust us it is for your own good.

    vaccines and global warming could be brothers, we are witnessing humanities desire to control nature once again. Undoubtedly (IMO) it will do more harm than good.

    I am sorry but there is no argument that you can propose that logically follows that measles arent safer than driving. It can’t be done i showed you FACTS not opinion. you can ignore the facts, or give excuses, either way, in the US, driving is far more dangerous that the measles. and that is a fact.

  31. Scott says:

    backer,

    Let me extend your argument a bit. If I were to randomly shoot one person a year, the risk of dying from me shooting you would be far less than the risk of dying from measles in an unvaccinated world, and hugely less than the risk of dying in a car wreck.

    Therefore, by your same reasoning, it’s perfectly fine for me to do that. The risk is smaller than others that are accepted, therefore it should be ignored and nothing done about it.

    Please go learn at least a little bit about risk – including risk management and risk/benefit analysis – before continuing with such arguments. I’m not sure you realize it, but you’re doing an excellent job of embarrassing yourself from sheer cluelessness.

  32. Harriet Hall says:

    Measles is safer than driving. So what? That isn’t a reason not to try to prevent measles.

    By the way, penicillin does prevent disease when used prophylactically. There are specific indications for that use.

    In Backer’s “opinion,” vaccines will cause more harm than good by trying to control nature. Extending that argument, all of medical science constitutes trying to control nature and will cause more harm than good. He’s welcome to his opinions. We are welcome to ignore them.

  33. windriven says:

    backer

    Ponder this exchange:

    Me: “you neglect the simple reality that driving, walking and swimming all have utility to humans, measles does not”

    You: “Your statement has no basis…”

    Does driving have utility to most humans? Yes.
    Does walking have utility to most humans? Yes.
    Does swimming have utility to most humans? Yes.
    Does measles have utility to most humans? No.

    Is backer a whacko? You decide.

  34. Scott says:

    Oh, and one more observation. If backer gets to invoke the possibility of some completely unknown benefit to measles infections, I similarly get to invoke the possibility of a BIGGER completely unknown benefit to measles vaccination. Like, it’ll protect us from the mutated measles virus of 2025 with a 99.99% fatality rate which would have otherwise wiped out all of civilization. My completely speculative consideration is actually something that can genuinely be established to be a possibility (albeit a remote one), so that kind of trumps completely unspecified speculative considerations.

    Or, we could all admit that it doesn’t make any sense to worry about risks or benefits with no foundation in reality (because such compete unknowns could go in either direction), and confine the discussion to those that can actually be established to exist.

  35. backer says:

    harriet-

    so why not ban driving?

    my point is that you vax heads always throw out this “we are doing a great service for humanity argument” it is complete crap. There are many more things that would benefit humanity, and i would love for you to dispute me on this one…

    would banning driving, in the US, save more lives then a measles vaccine, hell, even a flu vaccine. Yep! so if you want to to a great service for humanity hop on the lets ban driving moral soapbox, because the measles one is falling apart.

  36. backer says:

    scott-

    Oh, and one more observation. If backer gets to invoke the possibility of some completely unknown benefit to measles infections, I similarly get to invoke the possibility of a BIGGER completely unknown benefit to measles vaccination. Like, it’ll protect us from the mutated measles virus of 2025 with a 99.99% fatality rate which would have otherwise wiped out all of civilization. My completely speculative consideration is actually something that can genuinely be established to be a possibility (albeit a remote one), so that kind of trumps completely unspecified speculative considerations.

    i am so proud of you, i think i might just cry a little, you are finally doing science! This IS a possibility, and now that you have proposed a prediction we can wait and see if it comes true.

  37. backer says:

    windriven-

    Is backer a whacko? You decide

    this is old news, we have already established that i am ceeerazy.

  38. Harriet Hall says:

    backer said,

    “you vax heads always throw out this “we are doing a great service for humanity argument” it is complete crap. There are many more things that would benefit humanity, and i would love for you to dispute me on this one…”

    No one is even trying to dispute that. “We are doing a great service” does not equate to “we are doing the greatest possible service.”

    IMO the greatest services would be reducing the birth rate worldwide and eliminating smoking. I don’t know how to accomplish that. I do know how to prevent measles.

  39. EricG says:

    backer

    but to humor you…

    from your source:

    “Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.”

  40. EricG says:

    backer

    you said:

    “my theory is that measles is more lethal now than…”

    you and Blaylock “MD” could write a paper together. you could title it “here are some things i read that I threw together in order to formulate a ‘theory’ that I won’t bother to test, but in the mean time, you should take all of this conjecture very seriously”

    do you know what an actual theory is? you have a “hunch”

  41. EricG says:

    backer you said:

    “I really, really like random things that relate in particular ways.”

    that is a notorious human fallacy. gather data on 100 variables. run a correlation matrix. you will find correlations. doesn’t matter what the are…some will relate.

  42. EricG says:

    @ backer

    ok, last string post, here’s the rest.

    “all of these things are considered safe….

    driving
    walking
    swimming”

    by who? I don’t consider driving safe. if i cant swim, how is swimming safe?

    “do seatbelts/airbags prevent accidents? no, but in case you get into one they can help.”

    yes, but swimming lessons and reflective vests do. to apply your interesting little logic.

    vaccines = prevention
    medicine = treatment

    how does a reflective vest treat a person hit by a car more than it prevents it? likewise, how do swimming lessons treat drowning when you throw a kid in a pool more than swimming lessons prevent such? the answer to your example is valid.

    “i am so proud of you, i think i might just cry a little, you are finally doing science!”

    that is very odd. this is not science at all. but it somehow validates your “science” as you now call his mock on your absurd speculation, science…

    wait…after all of this, what is your point? Seriously

  43. daedalus2u says:

    Backer, when you calculate a percentage, could you at least do it correctly. The method is to divide and then multiply by 100.

    In your example of 1 in 6,000-8,000, it is 1/7,000*100 = 0.014% (not 0.0001%), you are off by a factor of 100.

    1-3 per 1000 is 2/1000*100 = 0.2%

    The risk of death from measles when unvaccinated and measles is endemic is about 1 per thousand or so, not 1 per 300,000 (I think your factor of 100 is where you are off). If you are unvaccinated and measles is endemic, you will be exposed to measles and very likely will get measles. The rate goes up and down each year because exposure is stochastic, but if you are exposed enough times, you will get it with a very high likelihood. If you don’t get it one year, you will get it some other year. Until you get it (or are vaccinated), you are susceptible and risk the 1 per 1,000 chance of dying if you get it. Looking at only a short and arbitrary time frame is not useful.

  44. backer says:

    daedalus2u

    i was using the same method as the national safety council which states…

    “The one year odds are approximated by dividing the 2006 population (298,362,973) by the number of deaths. The lifetime odds are approximated by dividing the one-year odds by the life expectancy of a person born in 2006 (77.7 years). Please note that odds based on less than 20 deaths are likely to be unstable from year to year and should be used with caution.”

    http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/injury_and_death_statistics/Pages/TheOddsofDyingFrom.aspx

    The only accurate way to compare against their statistics, is to use their methods. these were their methods not mine.

    so in 1950 there were approx 150,000,000 people divide by 500 measles deaths and you get…drumroll………….300,000.

  45. windriven says:

    backer-

    Odds and percentages are different. You are mixing limes and oranges. It’s an OK way to make sangria. Not so good for science.

  46. backer says:

    windriven-

    Odds and percentages are different. You are mixing limes and oranges. It’s an OK way to make sangria. Not so good for science.

    no they arent

  47. windriven says:

    backer

    I am a physicist and mathematician. I know the difference between odds and percentages. Odds are often expressed as ratios and a percentage is one particular type of ratio, but that does not make them the same no matter how much you insist.

    You seem to embrace ignorance with uncommon exuberance. There are many people in this forum who are remarkably generous about sharing their knowledge. I learn something here nearly every day. I wonder why you are here if not to grow intellectually?

    I can understand, if not appreciate, your bombastic championing of unusual ideas. But when daedalus2u explains a simple arithmetic principle and you argue and resist, understanding dissolves into contempt. You do understand I hope the difference between matters of opinion and matters of fact. daedalus2u has tried to explain a simple fact that is not open to debate. To believe otherwise would be a delusion, not a difference of opinion.

    We have had a little fun going back and forth and one presumes that half of what you say is said purely to provoke a response. But your various interlocutors have also engaged you in the hope that debate might bring a little light to the darkness. I might add that this has been done at some cost in time and effort. If your embrace of ignorance is that unshakable it begs the question of why anyone should bother engaging you.

    You occasionally – by accident I’m coming to believe – make interesting points. But it becomes tiresome separating the few grains from the mountain of chaff. And when you insist on things that are simply and demonstrably inaccurate, people incline toward automatically dismissing everything you say. Is that really what you want?

    Do yourself a favor. Think through your conjectures before you offer them. Understand your audience and frame your arguments convincingly. In this forum that means including citations for statistics and understanding the citations too. And when someone like daedalus2u catches you out, learn from the experience instead of denying the obvious.

    Now I for one am done with this thread.

  48. davidp says:

    Ouch. Thread hijacked by “backer”.

    On thread, typo alert s/morality/mortality/
    But I’m intrigued by the possible meaning of “devastating … morality”.

  49. Chris says:

    A valiant effort, windriven. About basic statistics, in an earlier thread, backer claimed to be an industrial engineer and had been educated in basic statistics. Yeah, right!

    Maybe he was taught how to lie with statistics. As it turns out, that doesn’t work very well here.

  50. Scott says:

    i am so proud of you, i think i might just cry a little, you are finally doing science! This IS a possibility, and now that you have proposed a prediction we can wait and see if it comes true.

    This comment is utter BS. Random speculations are completely unrelated to science.

    would banning driving, in the US, save more lives then a measles vaccine, hell, even a flu vaccine. Yep! so if you want to to a great service for humanity hop on the lets ban driving moral soapbox, because the measles one is falling apart.

    If banning driving were as cheap and safe as vaccinating for measles, sure that would make sense. Do you REALLY not see the difference here?

    I’m going to have to agree with windriven and Eric here. Either you are lying through your teeth and don’t believe a single word you’re saying, in which case discussing things with you is a waste of my time, or you DO believe it, in which case you’re uneducated, uneducable, completely divorced from anything resembling reality, and similarly not worth my time.

  51. Enkidu says:

    backer said, “Biology is simply to vast and complex to know the true impact and possible benefits of something like the measles.”

    Tell that to the people who have died (too late) or been disabled by measles. In the meantime, if we ever eradicate the virus from the wild, we’ll always have a stock tucked away in a freezer should the need arise.

  52. backer says:

    windriven-

    as i explained to daedalus2u but maybe you didnt read my response.

    “i was using the same method as the national safety council which states…

    “The one year odds are approximated by dividing the 2006 population (298,362,973) by the number of deaths. The lifetime odds are approximated by dividing the one-year odds by the life expectancy of a person born in 2006 (77.7 years). Please note that odds based on less than 20 deaths are likely to be unstable from year to year and should be used with caution.”

    if you are a mathematician the you should know this is the only correct way to compare statistics. further…

    Odds are often expressed as ratios and a percentage is one particular type of ratio

    I was simply converting a ratio into a percentage so people could see it both ways. Certainly i don’t REALLY have to explain this?

    but maybe you can show me how 1 in 4=25% is false?

  53. backer says:

    scott-

    If banning driving were as cheap and safe as vaccinating for measles, sure that would make sense. Do you REALLY not see the difference here?

    You people are so dense. I am not REALLY proposing we ban driving, i am simply saying if provaxers can’t use the moral argument unless they are willing to support this outlandish proposal. It was in response to this…

    pmoran says…
    …but we advise vaccination partly to protect more vulnerable members of the public.

    I am saying that if this is TRULY your argument for vaccination than you should be doing more than vaccination to protect more vulnerable members of the public.

    If pmoran is a pro-choice advocate, then he CANNOT claim he is trying to “protect more vulnerable members of the public” (BTW pmoran i am not saying you are)

  54. Backer is using a classic example of the Nirvana Fallacy

    “I am saying that if this is TRULY your argument for vaccination than you should be doing more than vaccination to protect more vulnerable members of the public.”

    Translation:

    Your efforts to protect the vulnerable members of the public are imperfect, therefore they are useless.

  55. backer says:

    chris-

    A valiant effort, windriven. About basic statistics, in an earlier thread, backer claimed to be an industrial engineer and had been educated in basic statistics. Yeah, right!

    If you must know “industrial engineer” is just a fancy title i give myself so when companies hire me for “consulting” (whatever this means) they can feel all warm and fuzzy. In the real world i just make stuff, lasers, robots, new tools, software, toys, gadgets, whatever comes to mind that day. I just sit around my shop inventing new things, tinkering the day away. Then when i get an idea that really works, i sell it to some random company and then go tinker some more. Honestly i don’t care about titles but if i tell people i am “stuff maker” they usually don’t get it. But the title on my actual business card says “red ninja”. But in face to face interactions with people i can explain that the red ninja was the badass at the end of the movie that got his ass kick by bruce lee, so i am not claiming to be bruce lee by i can ALMOST woop his ass.

  56. backer says:

    chris-

    oops typo hopefully this one works…

    A valiant effort, windriven. About basic statistics, in an earlier thread, backer claimed to be an industrial engineer and had been educated in basic statistics. Yeah, right!

    If you must know “industrial engineer” is just a fancy title i give myself so when companies hire me for “consulting” (whatever this means) they can feel all warm and fuzzy. In the real world i just make stuff, lasers, robots, new tools, software, toys, gadgets, whatever comes to mind that day. I just sit around my shop inventing new things, tinkering the day away. Then when i get an idea that really works, i sell it to some random company and then go tinker some more. Honestly i don’t care about titles but if i tell people i am “stuff maker” they usually don’t get it. But the title on my actual business card says “red ninja”. But in face to face interactions with people i can explain that the red ninja was the badass at the end of the movie that got his ass kick by bruce lee, so i am not claiming to be bruce lee by i can ALMOST woop his ass.

  57. backer says:

    perky skeptic-

    Backer is using a classic example of the Nirvana Fallacy–

    uhhh no.

    i willfully admitted i wasnt ACTUALLY comparing the 2…

    “I am not REALLY proposing we ban driving, i am simply saying if provaxers can’t use the moral argument unless they are willing to support this outlandish proposal.”

    I am simply showing that the statement…

    but we advise vaccination partly to protect more vulnerable members of the public.

    …is a complete fabrication.

    so would pmoran advise AGAINST vaccines to “protect more vulnerable members of the public” that may be prone to vaccine reactions?

    If there were 3 deaths related to MMR vaccine (just an example) and no deaths associated with the ACTUAL disease then we would be doing humanity a favor by stopping vaccination until measles related death rose above MMR vax related deaths.

    Then and only then could you claim that you were on the side of morality and were willing to do whatever it takes to protect your fellow man. It is called moral imperative.

  58. pmoran says:

    Backer: “I am simply showing that the statement…

    but we advise vaccination partly to protect more vulnerable members of the public.

    …is a complete fabrication. ”
    ===========================
    What? Have you missed the point that this is the population within which most deaths occur: the very young, the immuno-compromised, those with illnesses?

    While I have in this thread suggested patience with persons such as yourself, you now seem to be laboring non-existent points and making very thoughtless statements.

    We don’t HAVE to be polite to you. You seem to be pushing the position that there are obvious errors in the assessment of the evidence relating to vaccination that we and virtually the whole of the rest of the medical population are too stupid (or probably corrupt) to recognize. Every time we talk to you we are having to swallow the implied insult.

    What is your purpose here?

  59. I am abjectly stunned to read that backer’s point seems to be that he remains unconvinced that vaccines don’t cause more deaths than the vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Am I reading you correctly, backer? Because that is what your comment at Dec 23 3:14 pm communicates to me.

  60. Chris says:

    pmoran:

    While I have in this thread suggested patience with persons such as yourself, you now seem to be laboring non-existent points and making very thoughtless statements.

    ….
    What is your purpose here?

    His purpose is to be a troll. That was evident when he started to post completely off topic subjects.

  61. backer says:

    pmoran-

    I mean no disrespect, i do however have first hand experience with many MD’s. we all go out and drink and debate and carry on. One night i asked a very simple question. To the 3 MD’s i was drinking with.

    Why did you become doctors, i suspected the usual “i wanna help people” shtick. what i heard shocked me. Not one of them said they did it to help people. One said, he liked science, and the challenge of surgery, the next fully admitted he really had no interest in being an MD however his father was so it was a natural progression, and the last said he did it for the respect! (are you friggin kidding me?!) The next thing that shocked me was when the last guy said he did it for respect, the other 2 agreed. Of course they all agreed money was a factor. I was simply appalled.

    I even asked a follow up so none of you did it to help others? All 3 agreed that wasnt a significant deciding factor in their decision. They all thought it was admirable that they could help, but not a deciding factor none the less.

    I asked another question “so what about when a patient dies?” the consensus response was “you get used to it.” Don’t get me wrong, I can understand this at some level as it goes with the territory, however they went on to explain that you get so enthralled with the moment sometimes you fail to realize that you are actually working on a human being. Again i can sympathize with this position, but it made me think long and hard about the medical community and it’s motivations.

    I am not saying that my experience is global across the medical spectrum, however i think if more people were honest with themselves their answers would be similar.

    When i stumbled across this site and saw people spouting off things like vaccines are the moral right, it made me think back to my experience, and question the statements being made. Like i have said before I think vaccines have their place, mainly in developing countries.

    So i will ask you straight up.

    If MMR kills/disables more people in the US than the actual disease is it not the moral imperative to discontinue use?

    you can appeal to some unknown future variable and say something like “if we stop using vax then measles rate will increase, eventually causing more death blah, blah, blah” But that would be avoiding my question. it is a simple yes or no question based on the PRESENT.

    You ask me what my purpose is…

    It is to be a rock in your shoe, and make you think. I don’t care if i am wrong about some things. I just want you to think about them. Because the next time i ask an MD why he became one i want to hear…”So i could move to Africa and be of service”

  62. Harriet Hall says:

    backer,

    True, if the rate of disease in a population is low enough, the risk of the vaccine to an individual is greater than the risk of the disease NOW. That’s a bit short-sighted, because the overall risk to the individual over his future lifetime will be higher than the risk of the vaccine now if lower herd immunity allows the disease rate to increase. This argument does not “appeal to some unknown future variable” but to known facts. When vaccination rates fall, disease rates increase; when vaccination rates rise again, the disease rates decrease again. We have seen this over an over in different countries with various vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Your arguments about why people become doctors are not convincing. I don’t think most people really know why they do things; I think their “reasons” are largely rationalizations made up after the fact. And even people who go into medicine for the money can ALSO be sincerely dedicated to helping people. Anyway, those arguments have nothing to do with the question of whether measles vaccine is safer than risking measles.

  63. Th1Th2 says:

    I am pretty sure all provax in this forum are not even physicians who actually treated a single case of measles or have had managed vaccine-injured patients let alone have administered a measles vaccine. As a parent would you actually believe these persons who pretend to know more about measles? Trolls can always talk the talk anyway.

  64. backer says:

    Harriet-

    True, if the rate of disease in a population is low enough, the risk of the vaccine to an individual is greater than the risk of the disease NOW

    this is why i like you…you are honest about things…i know, i know, you have said before many others will readily admit such things, but you are the only one i have come across here.

    That’s a bit short-sighted, because the overall risk to the individual over his future lifetime will be higher than the risk of the vaccine now if lower herd immunity allows the disease rate to increase. This argument does not “appeal to some unknown future variable” but to known facts. When vaccination rates fall, disease rates increase; when vaccination rates rise again, the disease rates decrease again. We have seen this over an over in different countries with various vaccine-preventable diseases.

    i realize this is your position but i am still skeptical about the use of the vaccine. I look at things like scarlet fever, SARS, black death, even 1918. NONE of these had a vaccine and they all died out on their own. It makes me wonder that if we would have just left well enough alone that measles wouldnt have ended with the same fate? To further this, it also make me wonder if the vaccine propagates the disease, surely you have wondered these same things?

    I don’t think most people really know why they do things; I think their “reasons” are largely rationalizations made up after the fact.

    sorry harriet, if you do what you love you know it inherently. There is no need for rationalizations made up after the fact.

  65. backer says:

    Th1TH2-

    the other thing they don’t realize is that without us they would have very little to talk to each other about. It might go something like this…

    Chris…

    vaccines are awesome!

    Scott…

    tru dat!

    Windriven…

    yup! yup!

    EricG…

    HELLLLLZ YEAH! VAX IT UP!

  66. Th1Th2 says:

    Amateurs who sell snake oil is what they are.

  67. pmoran says:

    Backer: “If MMR kills/disables more people in the US than the actual disease is it not the moral imperative to discontinue use?”

    – and you attempt to further dissociate the question from the reasons that MMR is given with “you can appeal to some unknown future variable —-”

    This is dishonest. We have a classic cost/risk/benefit decision and you are trying to transform it into an scarcely relevant, overly simplistic, moral absolute. . Quite ordinary processes of human reasoning and experience allow us to predict what will happen (and already has happened in several countries) when vaccination lessens before a virus has died out completely.

    Thankyou for elucidating your “stone in the shoe” position. I am not sure that querying vaccines is the best use of your energies, especially if you are helping to spread doubt and suspicion where there should be none.

  68. Chris says:

    Third try…

    backer:

    I look at things like scarlet fever, SARS, black death, even 1918. NONE of these had a vaccine and they all died out on their own. It makes me wonder that if we would have just left well enough alone that measles wouldnt have ended with the same fate?

    That is why we know you are completely clueless.

    First, both scarlet fever and bubonic plague are bacterial infections (now can you tell how that makes them different from measles?). Also neither has died out, they are still around. Scarlet fever is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, which still causes strep throat (like the rest of the Group A strep bacteria). And the bubonic plague still infects about a dozen people per year in the USA. Its vector are fleas on rodents, so if you control rodents there is a less likely chance of infection.

    I have read that there may be a vaccine for strep throat sometime in the future, which would be better because of the evolution of antibiotic resistant strains.

    Now both SARS and influenza are fast evolving viruses, and both can replicate in birds. Also if a virus evolves to the point of being fairly deadly, it can kill the host before transferring to another thereby limiting how well it transmits. Both were controlled through quarantine, and then their genome changed (the 1918 type did exist in some form or another until 1957). You would know more about this if you have read Gina Kolata’s book Flu

    Now tell us how measles are like those four diseases? Can it be treated with antibiotics? Does it have any other vector than humans? Does it continually change?

    Using your “professional” credentials, Thing1Thing2, tell us how the MMR vaccine has a greater risk than measles. Measles causes encephalopathy in one out of a thousand cases, please educate us with the real evidence that the MMR causes more injury than that. There should be plenty of research on it since it has been used in the USA for almost forty years.

    Research like:

    Impact of specific medical interventions on reducing the prevalence of mental retardation.
    Brosco JP, Mattingly M, Sanders LM.
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160:302-309.

    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

    An economic analysis of the current universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccination program in the United States.
    Zhou F, Reef S, Massoudi M, Papania MJ, Yusuf HR, Bardenheier B, Zimmerman L, McCauley MM.
    J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S131-45.

    Neurologic Disorders after Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination.
    Makela A et al.
    Pediatrics 2002; 110:957-63
    *Subjects: 535,544 children vaccinated between November 1982 and June 1986 in Finland

    Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study.
    Hornig M et al.
    PLoS ONE 2008; 3(9): e3140 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
    *Subjects: 25 children with autism and GI disturbances and 13 children with GI disturbances alone (controls)

    Also, why should we take the both of you seriously? Neither of you has presented any kind of cogent argument with real data. The only thing you have both used is stuff gleamed from the University of Google (and backer’s second post on this thread shows how he fails with that, the first link is just a search dump, and not what he says it is!).

  69. backer says:

    chris-

    you make me chuckle sometimes.

    i will start with this…

    And the bubonic plague still infects about a dozen people per year in the USA. Its vector are fleas on rodents, so if you control rodents there is a less likely chance of infection.

    this shows YOUR level of research the black death is unknown and current theories suggest it might have been an ebola like VIRUS

    the Black Death killed between half and two-thirds of the population of Iceland, although there were no rats in Iceland at this time.

    go do some research and get back to me.

  70. Ken Hamer says:

    @backer

    “discernment”

    Warning! Crazy, nut-case religous buzzword.

    backer: You can claim that you are NOT touting these things all you want. It’s pretty clear to anyone with a modicum of intelligence and/or reading comprehension skill that you ARE touting them.

    Unless, of course, you’re BACKING them rather than TOUTING them.

  71. Chris says:

    backer, the contention that the Black Plague was Ebola is not a done deal, it may still up to debate (though not so much recently). I noticed you did not bring up any documentation to show that it was completely settled.

    Even if Ebola caused black death, it is still around and has not died out. And certainly not several hundred years ago. Though it is so nasty that it kills everyone before it spreads to the next village.

    On PubMed using the search words “black death ebola” brings up 30 papers, using “black death yersinia pestis” brings up almost 1800 hits.. Using Google Scholar shows that there is biological evidence that the Black Plague was caused by yersinia pestis, like this:
    http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jinh.2007.37.3.371

    … and this full paper:
    http://www.macalester.edu/~cuffel/molecularplague.htm

    And citing that controversy in no way shows that the measles should die out without vaccination.

  72. weing says:

    backer,

    You forgot smallpox. It wiped out almost all the native americans and disappeared without a vaccine. Oh! That’s right! That’s why you conveniently forgot it. But we no longer vaccinate for it. I wonder why?

  73. backer says:

    chris-

    just look at wiki…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theories_of_the_Black_Death

    I never said it was settled just that there are other theories…

    however this is interesting (from wiki)…”in 2003 a team led by Alan Cooper from Oxford University tested 121 teeth from sixty-six skeletons found in fourteenth-century mass graves, including documented Black Death plague pits in East Smithfield and Spitalfields. Their results showed no genetic evidence for Y. pestis, and Cooper argued that though “[w]e cannot rule out Yersinia as the cause of the Black Death …right now there is no molecular evidence for it.”

    and what do these have in common with measles, they are a disease. It seem to me the trend for disease is 1. start infecting 2. reach upper limit 3. decline (this is where most vaccines are developed)

    look i have said it OVER, and OVER, and OVER again. i am not against vax. I think it is more prudent however to focus on NEW TREATMENTS for disease, we would be better served. vaccines take a long time to produce, then you have trials, then you arent really even sure it won’t adverse reactions once it get’s into the general public. Even though i am not a big fan of tamiflu, i think one could confidently say it saved more lives against H1N1 than the vaccine did. We never know when the next SARS epidemic will occur, but if we have readily available treatment it won’t matter as much.

  74. backer says:

    chris-

    oops i should have said SARS type epidemic or a totally new disease hopefully you can extrapolate that

  75. backer says:

    weing-

    so good to see you again. wanted to share another convenient tid-bit. We just had another bug visit our house, more like a pit stop, my pregnant wife came down with it on friday evening, i quickly administered (do i even need to say it) it was gone by sunday evening.

    Then, as expected, my daughter got it. She was feverish when she woke up yesterday. I came home at lunch and checked on her, still feverish, i came home from work checked, fever subsiding, by the time she went to bed, fever gone. she woke up today, no fever, no symptoms. NOT EVEN A FULL DAY. again i will call that MARVELOUS results

    BTW did you see the NIH link?

  76. Joe says:

    backer on 24 Dec 2009 at 10:45 am “BTW did you see the NIH link?”

    Your “NIH link” comes from an unreliable source which the NIH has contracted to provide reviews. If you look at the original literature, which they grade as a B, there are two, pilot clinical trials. One was conducted ca. 1995 and showed good results; but it was published in an inferior journal. Then, ca. 2004, they did another trial with 120 participants which showed good results. Five years later, they still haven’t published a definitive study despite the malady being common and the treatment being cheap and abundant.

    The original publication in a poor journal, and the lack of adequate follow-up after all this time, makes me suspicious. Your anecdotes are irrelevant.

  77. backer says:

    joe-

    i don’t care what you believe, but the stuff works. they also have a trial that just ended in september. i bet it won’t be too long until those results are out. plus it isnt like this company has gobs of money to do these studies.

  78. Joe says:

    backer on 24 Dec 2009 at 1:43 pm “joe- i don’t care what you believe, …”

    That is almost too much to bear.

  79. pmoran says:

    Backer: ‘I don’t care what you believe, but the stuff works.”

    In need of a rock in your shoe, Backer?

    How ironic! Mainstream medicine would laugh your evidence off the stage if accompanied by such dogmatism.

    Yet you just now pretended that WE need to be pushed into a healthy re-examination of OUR views.

  80. backer says:

    pmoran-

    no the funny thing is that if the NIH is in the habit of contracting out to “unreliable sources” then we can discount them as a source of reliable information.

    if they use “unreliable sources” how can we truly trust ANYTHING they say?

    Everyone thank Joe for making the NIH unreliable.

  81. Chris says:

    What do the charts at the beginning of this post (Charts 3 and 4) show about the relationship between vaccine uptake and incidence of measles in the UK? So where has it been shown that measles went away without vaccines?

  82. researcher2000 says:

    Hello, I used to work as a resarcher for NIH. I am a clinical psychologist, so I come to this from a slightly different angle than many of you MDs. I like to see things from different angles, and to not have a preconception. There are 2 reasoning problems with the original posting in this thread.
    1. What is the natural variation in measles occurrence over the years? Unless this is closely analyzed statistically, it is impossible to infer the source of the variation to e.g. drop in vaccination rates. See e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6497312
    and
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17878136

    2. There is an interesting phenomenon called honeymoon effect with vaccines. This occurs when the vaccine effect kicks in with a certain age group, and it looks like the effect is great. Then after some years, the infection comes back atypically in e.g. younger groups or older groups. Measles is often quoted (www.nvic.org – yes, I actually think it is interesting to read what vaccine refusers write! I bet I will get some non-scientific remarks on that one) in this respect as infants below vaccination age are now hit, since they don’t get immunity from their vaccinated mothers. Adults get measles because their vaccine immunity is decreasing and they have not taken booster shots or the booster shots do not work as well as expected.
    It would be great to be able to blame everything on vaccine refusers, but this seems very premature and naive, specially since all statistics and analysis is provided by very pro-vaccination agencies.

  83. researcher2000 says:

    I am posting this again without links so I don’t have to wait for moderation.

    Hello, I used to work as a resarcher for NIH. I am a clinical psychologist, so I come to this from a slightly different angle than many of you MDs. I like to see things from different angles, and to not have a preconception. There are 2 reasoning problems with the original posting in this thread.
    1. What is the natural variation in measles occurrence over the years? Unless this is closely analyzed statistically, it is impossible to infer the source of the variation to e.g. drop in vaccination rates.

    2. There is an interesting phenomenon called honeymoon effect with vaccines. This occurs when the vaccine effect kicks in with a certain age group, and it looks like the effect is great. Then after some years, the infection comes back atypically in e.g. younger groups or older groups. Measles is often quoted (www.nvic.org – yes, I actually think it is interesting to read what vaccine refusers write! I bet I will get some non-scientific remarks on that one) in this respect as infants below vaccination age are now hit, since they don’t get immunity from their vaccinated mothers. Adults get measles because their vaccine immunity is decreasing and they have not taken booster shots or the booster shots do not work as well as expected.
    It would be great to be able to blame everything on vaccine refusers, but this seems very premature and naive, specially since all statistics and analysis is provided by very pro-vaccination agencies.

  84. Harriet Hall says:

    researcher2000,

    Even if we had a close analysis of measles rates over the years (and we do, don’t we?), that alone would not make it possible to attribute a drop in rates to vaccination. It is possible to infer that a drop in measles incidence is due to the vaccine when we see multiple instances where the vaccination rate drops, the disease rises, the vaccination rate rises again and the disease drops again. And when measles has been eradicated from communities with high vaccination rates but never from unvaccinated communities.

    Your other argument, about the honeymoon effect and unprotected infants, would be irrelevant if enough people were vaccinated. Since measles has no non-human reservoir, we can eliminate it from the world forever, like we did smallpox.

  85. windriven says:

    “I like to see things from different angles, and to not have a preconception.”

    You claim 2 deficiencies in the post and ask, “1. What is the natural variation in measles occurrence over the years? Unless this is closely analyzed statistically, it is impossible to infer the source of the variation to e.g. drop in vaccination rates.

    See e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6497312
    and
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17878136

    As the abstract for your second citation clearly states, “This body of work has generated simple yet powerful explanations for the epidemics of measles and chickenpox…” so I wonder exactly what your ‘different angle’ is in this regard?

    The first citation is a 1984 study of historical trends in measles mortality in Singapore. We are given no suggestion in the abstract of vaccination rates in Singapore from 1959 to 1981, the years covered. But as a point of interest, routine measles vaccination didn’t begin in the US until 1963. The importance of a booster vaccination didn’t become clear until the mid-1980s. So what meaningful ‘different angle’ are you suggesting here?

    A willingness to look at things from different angles and to avoid preconceptions is essential to critical thinking. But so is good judgment.

  86. researcher2000 says:

    Does anyone have citations about multiple vaccine rate drops and subsequent increases e.g. in mortality. If you just have a link to the abstract, please quote the text as I don’t have access to full articles.

    Also it is claimed by anti vacs that there are no double blind placebo studies of vaccination where the outcome is , infection mortality or serious outcomes. I haven’t been anble to find any apart from a study in the Phillipines of pneeumococcal 11 valent vaccine that showed a very modest effect in only a very specific age group.

    It seems like either the placebo concept is misunderstood, e,g, in safety trials of HPV vaccines they used a placebo with alluminum! or the endpoints are antibody counts, which doesn’t necessarily prove immunity.

  87. pmoran says:

    “pmoran-

    no the funny thing is that if the NIH is in the habit of contracting out to “unreliable sources” then we can discount them as a source of reliable information.

    if they use “unreliable sources” how can we truly trust ANYTHING they say?

    Everyone thank Joe for making the NIH unreliable.”

    So this is how you respond to my contention that you made a dogmatic claim on evidence that goes nowhere near that required by the FDA or any other mainstream medical body when endorsing a new drug ?

    Why should we bother responding to your points, if you completely ignore ours?

  88. backer says:

    pmoran-

    It isnt a drug. It is classified “dietary supplement” therefore it will never be eligible for FDA approval. It think it is great that they went through the trouble of doing studies since it is a dietary supplement, and they are under no obligation to prove anything. To me this shows the level of confidence that they have in their product.

  89. Chris says:

    researcher2000, exactly how good are you at researching? Why are you asking us to do the research for you?

    Read what Dr. Crislip wrote about the increase of measles in the UK after a drop of vaccination. What happened? One graph shows a decrease and the other an increase? Why? With you asking us to do the research which was provided by Dr. Crislip, we wonder if you even bother reading what he wrote, or even what was in the responses.

    In the early 1990s Japan decided to drop the use of their version of the MMR vaccine (the difference was the mumps component, use your research experience to figure out what that was!). Did measles go up or down? Here is a hint: http://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/79%283%29272.pdf … what does it say about Japan?

    See what was posted at 21 Dec 2009 at 7:28 pm on the incidence of measles in the USA during the 20th century. What happened in the 1960s? Also read the link that was posted 24 Dec 2009 at 1:55 am … What does it say about Italy, Japan, Germany, the USA, and Ireland?

    Please tell us why it is ethical to do a randomly controlled double blind study on a vaccine that has been used for almost forty years, versus allowing children to contract three diseases where there is a known bad outcome for at least one out of thousand times? Does the MMR cause something bad to happen once out of 999 times? Look up what happened when measles returned to the USA between 1987 and 1992, here is a hint (which if you really know how to “research” you would have known about): J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S69-77. (you are a researcher, you should be able to figure out what that means!).

    Please, show us what how good a researcher you are: post any evidence you have that the MMR vaccine has a greater risk than measles, mumps or rubella. It has to be real scientific research, not a random webpage or news article, and definitely no lawyer paid research (ie: nothing from Wakefield).

  90. Joe says:

    @backer on 24 Dec 2009 at 9:52 pm “… if they [NIH] use “unreliable sources” how can we truly trust ANYTHING they say?”

    One simply needs the perspicacity to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  91. jdc says:

    I’ve looked at measles and vaccination in the UK on my blog and I think it’s worth noting the following:

    Before and after the introduction of a vaccine

    The 10 years prior to the introduction of the single measles vaccine (1958-1967) brought 863 deaths (and 4,120,936 notifications) and in the 10 years following the introduction (1968-1977) there were 292 deaths (a fall of 571 deaths – or 66%) – and 1,600,979 notifications (a fall of 2,519,957, or 61%).

    Vaccine coverage, incidence of measles, and deaths from measles

    In the eight years of the 1980s for which data is available, protection against measles from a vaccine ran from 52% (in 1981) to 84% (1989), and 1989 was the only year in the 80s that saw a figure above 80% – the mean average for vaccine coverage was 66.75%.

    Notifications of measles in the 1980s ran from 30,160 in 1989, when coverage was 84%, to 114,948 in 1983 (coverage had not reached 60% in that or the previous two years). The mean average incidence of measles for these eight years was 75,483.

    In the nine years for which data is available for the 1990s, coverage was 89-92%. The mean average for vaccine coverage was 91.22%.

    The notifications of measles in the 1990s ran from a low of 74 in 1998 to a high of 28,228 in 1990 (1991 was the year in which coverage first reached 90%). The mean average incidence of measles for these nine years was 12,068.

    The difference between the 1980s and 1990s in terms of incidence of measles is notable – there were more than six times as many notifications of measles in the 1980s than the 1990s. As vaccine coverage rose, the number of cases of measles plummeted.

    The figures from the HPA give us a total of 15 deaths in the 1990s and 89 deaths in the 1980s – six times as many people died from measles in the 1980s than in the 1990s.

    This should not be a surprise, given that six times as many people contracted measles during the 1980s as compared with the 1990s – but it does help to illustrate (1) why vaccine coverage needs to be around 90% and (2) that measles is no less deadly now than it was in the 1980s when 90 people in this country died from the disease.

  92. researcher2000 says:

    Wow! I just asked a few questions. I thought the point with a site like this was to exchange information. If vaccines were my topic for research, I wouldn’t ask any questions. I hope you don’t think asking questions is against scientific principles. I did research on psychology of course, and it is interesting to see how quickly the tone got adversarial. If I had the time and connections to do in depth research on all these topics, I wouldn’t ask.

    “Read what Dr. Crislip wrote about the increase of measles in the UK after a drop of vaccination. What happened? One graph shows a decrease and the other an increase? Why? With you asking us to do the research which was provided by Dr. Crislip, we wonder if you even bother reading what he wrote, or even what was in the responses.”
    Of course I read what he wrote, and that is the reason for my question. It seems like it was taken for granted that since vaccination rates went down, very slightly though, this had to be the only reason for the sharp increase in cases. Dr. Crislip doesn’t propose any other hypothesis. Could there be other factors involved? Is there anything wrong in asking these questions? It could e.g. be that a point in time has been reached where the many mothers are not able to give their infants immunity, possibly at the same time as vaccine immunity is decreasing in adults. It could even be attributable to better lab procedures or different procedures for having measles lab confirmed. I don’t say that these hypothesis represent the truth, it is just that alternative hypothesis that should be tested before one jumps to the conclusion that it was the anti vax’s fault.
    I read the suggested article about vaccine uptake in UK, Japan and Finland, and it seems quite illogical that using a monovalent vaccine against measles should be inferior to combining measles, mumps and rubella. Do you think the mumps and rubella components lead to better immunity against measles? The article doesn’t say anything about lower measles vaccine uptake. The study from Finland is also interesting. If you have done research, you will know that it is easy to miss a link between two variables if there is a lot of variability in the data. One may even miss it by being sloppy or looking in the wrong places. The Finnish study focused on increased autism as short term consequences. Why look only at short term?
    Another thing: It is almost impossible to prove “no connection” statistically. You can only disconfirm the null hypothesis, not confirm it. That is why all this talk about proving there is no link does not make sense statistically.

    Another thing: I asked in general about RCTs for vaccine with mortality or morbidity as outcomes, not only for measles. Are there any such RCTs for any vaccine? I could of course search all the RCTs on pubmed, but I got tired when I found one after the other with only antibody counts as outcome, or strange placebo arrangements like for the HPV safety trials.

    Thank you for very interesting reference to articles though.
    Here is quote from the article on how deadly measles is:
    “In the case of the Duisburg outbreak in Germany, measles had a high mortality rate of 1 in 307 as two of the three young people with encephalitis died. The two children who developed encephalitis and died were aged 2 months, and 2 years. The infant was too young for vaccination and would have relied upon herd immunity for protection”

    So now it is admitted that measles has become very deadly, possibly (note: this is a hypothesis, we should find out more) for the reason that babies no longer get immunity from vaccinated mothers. Herd immunity is a theoretical construct and may (note: hypothesis) include exactly the transimission of immunity from mother to newborn, if the mother has got real natural immunity.
    “In the case of the Duisburg outbreak in Germany, measles had a high mortality rate of 1 in 307”. The deadliness used to be 1 in 8888 (from the mentioned powerpoint presentation on 21 Dec 2009 at 4:15 pm) So measles has become quite a lot deadlier from the 1950s, even with today’s technology!

  93. backer says:

    researcher 2000-

    I knew when i saw you pop onto the scene it wouldnt take to long for you to be berated for questioning the status quo. I too asked the same questions as you. I too asked about measles becoming deadlier after the vaccines was introduced, it started here…

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3131&cpage=2#comment-37651

    you can just follow the string from there, like you mentioned, notice how no one here proposed ANY other hypothesis for this, they just rely on ad hominems and poisoning the well tactics to make their case. They go on to attack my statistical methodology, even when i show exactly where and why i adopted this method.

  94. windriven says:

    researcher2000 – you seem to be asking for proof that water is wet. There are many interesting questions to examine and debate in medical science. The utility of measles vaccination isn’t one of them. Measles vaccination like evolutionary theory is accepted science. If you have compelling reasons to re-examine measles vaccination it is incumbent on you to demonstrate cause to reopen the issue, not the other way around.

    You and your ilk seem to believe that posing childish ‘why is there air’ questions deserves thoughtful answers and the investment in time and energy for formulate them. We are all open to re-examination of any scientific dogma given a reasonably coherent reason to do so. But we are not compelled to play along with you in silly epistemological games.

    If you have a coherent thought supported by compelling evidence relevant to re-examining measles vaccination or MMR vaccination for that matter, state your conjecture and the supporting data. Failing that your questions barely rise to the level of college sophomores with too much hash sitting around a dorm posing specious what-if questions.

    “Oh dude, what if, like, we’re really the only 3 people alive and like, everybody else is just a figment of our imaginations?”

  95. daedalus2u says:

    Researcher, the reason there was a quick transition to adversarial is because many of the “questions” you are asking are anti-vax canards which have been rhetorically asked and answered many times. In many cases those asking the questions have been told the answer, they simply deny that the answer is correct based on their own delusional world view. The simplest explanation for the increase in measles is the reduced vaccination.

    Disease transmission is complicated. Every infected person sheds virus at different rates and for different periods, the transmission of that virus from infected person to non-immune person is complex, the quantity of virus that is required to develop an infection is complex and depends on a number of things, the precise conditions of the virus, the immune status of the individual, the presence of anti-measles antibodies, and no doubt other things.

    The simplest explanation also has the simplest solution to the problem, increase vaccination rates. When this is done, the incidence of measles goes down. We don’t need a more complicated explanation; the only people who want a more complicated explanation are those who want to deny that vaccination against measles is a good thing and is protective against acquiring a measles infection.

    This is a blog by an expert in infectious disease. The other alternatives you have suggested have been considered and they do not explain the data that is observed. The simplest way to prevent measles is with vaccination. This is very effective and very safe. For everyone, it is safer than getting measles. For a few (because of immune system suppression), getting the vaccine is not very safe. It is still safer than getting measles. If people who can safely take the vaccine did so, then people who could not safely take the vaccine would be protected because measles virus would not be circulating in the population. With a high enough “herd immunity” there would be essentially no measles cases because measles virus would not circulate.

    For measles virus to circulate, each infected person has to (on average) infect another person before they become non-infectious. If less than one person becomes infected, then eventually the disease will die out. That is where herd immunity is so important; to reduce the number of susceptible individuals that an infected individual can infect before the infected individual becomes non-infectious.

    The health care providers on this blog have answered many of these questions many times before. It is pretty old even for those of us who are not medical professionals, but are just hangers-on. People are dying from measles because of anti-vax BS lies. It is hard not to get upset with those who are harming people with their lies.

    Backer, there is no evidence that measles is getting any more deadly. It is deadly enough already, and was deadly enough 100 years ago. That is why a vaccine was developed in the first place. The sequence of measles doesn’t seem to have changed that much. The idea that it is now somehow more deadly is pure speculation, speculation that I speculate was generated by anti-vaxers to rationalize why they should not vaccinate against measles.

    It is extremely unlikely that measles is getting more deadly because of vaccinations. A mutation in measles to render it more deadly can only occur during an infection. The fewer cases of measles there are, the fewer opportunities there are for measles to mutate into something more deadly. Reducing measles cases from millions per year to hundreds per year is a reduction of 99.99%. Reducing it to tens of cases per year is a reduction of 99.999%.

    The prevention of measles produced by the measles vaccine is not like using antibiotics. The anti-measles antibodies are produced by the person vaccinated. The reason the anti-measles antibodies work is because there is cross-reactivity between the measles virus and the antibodies produced in response to the measles vaccine. If an individual was unable to produce antibodies that were reactive to measles, that person would not become immune to measles via the vaccine. That person would also not be able to recover from a measles infection. That person would be killed by a measles infection. That could be a reason why measles seems to appear more deadly. People who are vaccinated but do not generate anti-measles antibodies catch measles when they are exposed and die from it independent of their vaccination status. People who are vaccinated and do generate anti-measles antibodies don’t catch measles when they are exposed. So an epidemic that goes through a mostly immunized population may appear to be more deadly because more of the cases are among people especially susceptible to measles. Those people would die if unvaccinated too.

    If the measles virus mutated enough such that the measles vaccine was not effective, the vaccine could be modified until it was effective. There is nothing difficult about doing that, it just takes time and money and the right expertise.

  96. Chris says:

    My problem was that “researcher” was asking questions that were answered in the body of the blog posting, and actually discussed in the comments. Dude, if you are just “asking questions” at least read the main blog post first!

  97. Chris says:

    While you claim to have read, it seems you did not understand them.

  98. weing says:

    I think it needs to be reiterated that measles has the potential to be eradicated. Once the disease is eradicated, then the vaccine will no longer need to be used. Adverse effects of the vaccine would become a non-issue.
    I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but isn’t it possible that the anti-vaxers are in the pockets of the vaccine manufacturers? I can imagine some evil manufacturer or union employees of such a manufacturer seeing a need to maintain a market for their product. Why not support some deluded anti-vaxers and keep the disease going?

  99. Chris says:

    Or perhaps they are in the pay of hospital supply companies, funeral parlors, hearing aid suppliers, supplies for the blind (braille books, specialty computer equipment, white canes), and the other things that money was not used on due to the lack of measles.

Comments are closed.