Congratulations Anti-Vaxers, You Killed a Baby!

February 24th, 2015
submit to reddit Share

Measles is a very contagious disease.  It’s usually something that people get over, without permanent damage, although complications are not all that uncommon.  Deaths are relatively rare, but they do happen.   At one time, a country like the United States would expect to experience a few dozen deaths from measles, mostly in children, per year.

That began to change when an effective vaccine was developed in 1968.  It took some time for the vaccine to proliferate across the industrial world, and measles outbreaks continued into the 1980′s.  However by the late 1990′s, measles had become an uncommon condition in most of the developed world.  It did not go away completely, but by the turn of the 21st century, most public health officials considered measles to be a problem of the past and efforts on further eradication focused on third world countries, where low vaccine rates allowed it to flourish.

CanadameaslesThat began to change, however, as more parents started to buy into the propaganda of an increasingly well funded and vocal anti-vaccine movement.  It started with claims that vaccine caused autism.  Then they began to talk about all manner of “vaccine injury,” which, in most cases, was a complete fabrication.  Yet the fear of vaccines took hold enough for many parents to leave their children unvaccinated.  Many became so sold on the idea they would work to spread the message to others.

What happened is exactly what you would expect to happen.  A disease as contagious as measles once again had a population capable of sustaining an outbreak and that’s what happened.  In the United States, a single incident, where a number of persons were exposed in Disneyland resulted in a multi-state outbreak that has now spread to several states.  The numbers keep climbing and are now well over one hundred and fifty, although its likely that far more have not been reported.

Measels2Of course, the US is not alone.  Similar outbreaks and increases in rate of measles have swept the industrial world.  Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany have also faced the prospect of decreasing vaccine rates leading to measles outbreaks.  Other outbreaks have happened in the Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy, Singapore and New Zealand.

In many places, vaccine refusal has just begun to reach the critical number necessary for full scale outbreaks to be sustained in the population.  This has resulted in some very dramatic upticks in the rate of the diseases.  For example, Turkey reported 7,132 cases in 2014, up from 700 in 2013.  In New Zealand, 2014 saw 281 cases reported, while only 8 cases had been reported in 2013.

Up until now, no lives had been lost to the outbreaks.  There are a few reasons for this.  One is that vaccines are still reasonably common and therefore, the outbreaks have been small compared to those of decades ago.  Another reason is that, when someone gets measles, every effort is made to prevent them from dying.

Serious complications, complications that could even cause death, are not uncommon from measles.  But when they do happen, the health system springs into action and usually manages to save the lives of those infected.  For example, about 15% of those infected in the recent US outbreak ended up in the hospital.  When this happens, they are monitored, fluids and fever reducers are given, antibiotics are called for if there are secondary infections and doctors monitor their recovery.  Some will develop pneumonia and require breathing assistance, such as supplemental oxygen.  Vitamin A may be given by IV, as there is some evidence of decreased mortality when high vitamin A levels are maintained.

Providing this kind of treatment for those infected, even if it is a minority of cases, is not cheap.  It can be a big burden on the healthcare system.  Overall, it turns out to be very expensive to deal with measles.  Overall, the cost of both treating those badly infected and implementing measures to stop the spread ended up costing agencies in the state of California an average of more than ten thousand dollars per case.

But on the bright side, these measures, expensive though they may be, have proven effective in stopping people from dying.  But not 100% effective.

With the growing number of measles cases, it was really only a matter of time before a life was lost.  That’s finally happened.

What can we say to the anti vaccine groups about this?

congratulations_505_01

Yes, they finally killed someone.  And it was a baby, none the less.   That should probably even count for two points.   It probably won’t be the last, but it’s the first baby to die of measles in North America or Western Europe in some time, so I guess they deserve some credit on that one.

Predictable, of course.  It was bound to happen.

The death occurred in Germany, although if the trend keeps up, we can expect to see death from measles elsewhere as well.

Via Yahoo News / AFP:

Toddler dies as measles outbreak hits German capital

Berlin (AFP) – A toddler suffering from measles has died in the German capital, health authorities said, amid the country’s worst outbreak in years and a debate about vaccinations.

The 18-month-old boy died on February 18, the first known fatality among more than 570 recorded measles cases since October in the German capital, a Berlin health department official told AFP on Monday.

The resurgence of the preventable disease in Germany, as well as in parts of the United States, coincides with a movement among some parents to refuse to vaccinate their children.

Health Minister Hermann Groehe said “the irrational fear-mongering of some vaccination-foes is irresponsible”.

“Those who refuse to vaccinate their children endanger not only them but others, threatening serious health problems.”

German national health officials said Monday there were no current plans to make measles vaccinations mandatory.

But they said the government would ensure that parents receive advice on the need for immunisations when children start early child care.

Vaccination certificates would also be checked during regular doctors visits, a health ministry spokeswoman said.

She added that “if that doesn’t help, other steps will have to be considered.”

Berlin’s prestigious Charite hospital said later in a short statement that it had treated the measles-infected child which had died and that the cause of death was “still being examined”.

The article goes on to point out an important difference between this outbreak and previous measles outbreaks in Germany.

The centre for diseases control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute, said the Berlin wave of infections had “initially affected primarily asylum seekers, mostly from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia”.

“But now cases of the disease are occurring primarily amid the general population of Berlin,” it said in a statement.

Just like in the US, Canada and elsewhere, Germany had enjoyed a relative absence of measles, as most citizens had been vaccinated. The few cases that did occur, were often in immigrant communities, where vaccine rates were low. the fact that the German population is now able to sustain a measles outbreak is unsettling, although not surprising.

In 2001, the Journal of Infectious Disease published an article about the progress toward elimination of measles in Germany. Great strides had been made in the country since the reunification of the German Republic in 1991. Things have, unfortunately, begun to change in Germany over the past few years and at present, the country is battling an outbreak that has sickened hundreds.

Of course, those who do advocate that parents forgo vaccinations have killed other babies.  This is not the first death they have caused, not by a long shot.  It is the first to be caused by a measles outbreak, which could have been prevented.  It likely won’t be the last.  The situation in Germany is far from unique.  It’s


This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 1:16 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Quackery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
View blog reactions



14 Responses to “Congratulations Anti-Vaxers, You Killed a Baby!”

  1. 1
    DV82XL Says:

    When measles is introduced into an isolated population, it often causes high mortality in all age groups. For example, during a measles epidemic in Fiji in 1875, approximately 20% of all island residents died. Rotuma is another isolated Polynesian island. In January 1911, residents of Rotuma were exposed to measles virus for the first time – 12% of them died. Epidemics on of measles on the Faroe Islands in the year 1846` was also marked by a high death rate among adults. While this disease is serious in kids, it is often deadly in adults, and this is not taken into consideration by these idiots.


    Quote Comment
  2. 2
    Gordon Says:

    You make a good point about the fact that measles infections cost a lot of money to treat and to implement the measures to try to stop it, like closing schools and that kind of thing.

    Last year was a bad year for Canada and they did have to do a lot, in addition to caring for those infected, there were a lot of last-minute vaccine drives and closures.

    I would love to see the figure for what it ended up costing to respond to it. I am sure it was many millions.


    Quote Comment
  3. 3
    L.Long Says:

    Don’t be too critical look at all those babies they saved from getting autism!!!
    Let see doing a quick calculation that would come to NONE!!!!


    Quote Comment
  4. 4
    DV82XL Says:

    The anti-vax movement has never been about children, and it hasn’t really been about vaccines. It’s about privileged parents and how they wish to view themselves: most anti-vax parents consider defiance of authority to be a source of pride, whether that defiance is objectively beneficial or not and it’s a source of self-esteem for them. They think they are taking control back from some force that is robbing them of some freedom, and in this regard both the Left and Right tacitly agree, or at the very least hold parallel views. it is not that they are, at some level, aware that what they are doing is potentially harmful, but like young people that engage in reckless behaviour, they are doing it to affirm (to themselves) that they are the ones in control.

    Can you imagine just how pathetic your self-esteem has to be that lack your of self-worth needs to be assuaged by putting your own kids at risk?


    Quote Comment
  5. 5
    Anon Says:

            L.Long said:

    Don’t be too critical look at all those babies they saved from getting autism!!!
    Let see doing a quick calculation that would come to NONE!!!!

    It’s actually a negative number, look up congenital rubella syndrome.


    Quote Comment
  6. 6
    Shafe Says:

    Congradulations Anti-Vaxers, You Killed a Baby!

    Sp. Congratulations

    Please feel free to delete this comment after correcting.


    Quote Comment
  7. 7
    Jeff Walther Says:

    The anti-vaxxers should get a room with the anti-nuclear activists, who have killed millions over the last four decades with coal smoke and lung disease….


    Quote Comment
  8. 8
    Christopher D. Brown Says:

            DV82XL said:

    The anti-vax movement has never been about children, and it hasn’t really been about vaccines. It’s about privileged parents and how they wish to view themselves: most anti-vax parents consider defiance of authority to be a source of pride, whether that defiance is objectively beneficial or not and it’s a source of self-esteem for them. They think they are taking control back from some force that is robbing them of some freedom, and in this regard both the Left and Right tacitly agree, or at the very least hold parallel views. it is not that they are, at some level, aware that what they are doing is potentially harmful, but like young people that engage in reckless behaviour, they are doing it to affirm (to themselves) that they are the ones in control.

    Can you imagine just how pathetic your self-esteem has to be that lack your of self-worth needs to be assuaged by putting your own kids at risk?

    Amen.


    Quote Comment
  9. 9
    Seven Says:

    The baby was – in fact – vaccinated. According to the reports – the child was not vaccinated for Measles (not the MMR – we can assume). But why would the anti-vaxers be responsible for a baby death where the baby was indeed vaccinated? You are pointing fingers at the anti-vax crowd without any good information to go on, simply the rhetoric in the media.

    Why – would a baby vaccinated for other diseases – ‘skip’ the MMR? Did the child have a health condition that concerned the doctors and they chose not to vaccinate with the MMR at that time?

    The German reports say the child had no existing ‘chronic’ conditions, almost implying that the child had some kind of existing (non chronic) condition…(Otherwise one would say that the child ‘had no existing conditions’ and not use the word chronic) Perhaps this is also why they chose not to vaccinate for the MMR? It must have been quite a serious condition, or an immune-system-type condition. (Or of course – there was simply no previous condition and I’m jumping to spurious clues. But German scientists are not known for their lack or accuracy…Using the word ‘chronic’ for instance – is likely no accident)

    BTW – The word ‘chronic’ was removed from most English translations of the news story from Germany. One wonders why?

    Your lack of research and quick judgement is indicative of cognitive dissonance. Are you capable of critical thinking?

    Links for the curious: http://www.berlin.de/sen/gessoz/presse/pressemitteilungen/2015/pressemitteilung.268444.php


    Quote Comment
  10. 10
    PsihoKekec Says:

    Not to mention, that these are usually the kind of parents whe leave parenting to TV, video games and internet, then act all indignant when someone points out they should discipline their precious little snowflake. Good percantage of autism and other modern disorders diagnosis is actually excuse for parenting failiure.


    Quote Comment
  11. 11
    Anon Says:

            PsihoKekec said:

    Good percantage of autism and other modern disorders diagnosis is actually excuse for parenting failiure.

    Do you have any evidence of that?


    Quote Comment
  12. 12
    DV82XL Says:

    Why do more people now choose not to vaccinate their children? In a word: Narcissism.


    Quote Comment
  13. 13
    PsihoKekec Says:

            Anon said:

    Do you have any evidence of that?

    Just a discussion with a medical practicioner I had some time ago, he complained how parents wanted to have their spolied brats declared to have aspergers, dyslexy or autism, so their whims would be treated differently in schools. According to him, other doctors are much more accomodating than him.


    Quote Comment
  14. 14
    drift experiences Says:

    I always check out this guy before buying any drift experiences – http://www.driftday.co.uk/prices My personal favourite is SUBARU EXPERIENCE great value from £89


    Quote Comment

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *

Please copy the string vB2JaT to the field below:

Protected by WP Anti Spam