measles and the anti-immunization movement

Measles and the anti-immunization movement

 

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Hello MelissaWebLog.com and GlobalMusic4 Life Fans! I hope this finds you in good spirits and somewhere comfy. Please share this blog with your friends and get back to me on your opinion on the topic. I imagine I shall be revisiting it soon.

“To be or not to be, that is the question” at least according to William Shakespeare or Thomas Middleton or whoever wrote that stuff. I have been researching measles and immunizations and the pros and cons for about a month now and I have come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion. Doctors, lawyers, parents, and more importantly, children, are all in the middle of this new but old controversy. Old because people have taken issue with giving people shots since people first got shots. New because of the small wave of measles cases popping up in America and in Western Europe in the last few years have pro vs anti shot folks boxing it out even louder.

They say “that which does not kill you makes you stronger”. (I don’t know who said it I will look it up in master quotes next library visit) The thing is, who wants to risks their life or their child’s life on a chance to be stronger? I certainly don’t. A lot of parents don’t. Who gets to decide what’s good for you? One of  the problems with a democracy, or republic or whatever it is we have… ok one of the problems with having a government controlled system is that what is good for the many dictates what’s done to the few.

If you don’t want to get chickenpox, you can get an immunization shot for the chickenpox. If you don’t want to get shingles because you have already had chickenpox, well there is a shot for that too. However, if you are worried about the side effects of the medicine, even if it is a one in a million chance of getting them, who has the right to force you to do it? Hmm let’s think about that.

Well I first started looking into measles about three months ago and put it off. Then a month ago, I decided to write about it. First I hit the usual suspect, the internet. Bastion of modern knowledge that it is, it didn’t give me all of the true information that I wanted.

Let’s make it clear, I am no doctor. I am not a journalist. I am a web blogger. However, I do like to give people good quality information, albeit kind of tongue in cheek. Therefore, I hit the local medical school libraries. I went to the University of Chicago, Rush University, and University of Illinois’ medical libraries.  Besides the whitepaper information on all things measles, I really enjoyed speaking with the locals.

Now these are intelligent folks. I am not speaking with high school drop outs and teens; I am speaking with doctors and nurses. These are the people in the frontline of this issue. Most of them were parents or at the minimum parents of the future.

I asked simply: Hey doc, do you believe in giving kids their shots, in immunizations? What are your thoughts on the whole measles scare thing? I left more confused than when I came in.

There were hushed tones, folks pulling me to the side, asking was I a journalists? Was I a government worker of some kind, did I work for Public Health or the CDC? Naw, I am just a blogger with an itch. I actually had to show some of them my blog in an effort to get them to take me “unseriously”. I wish I had my “I’m with the illuminati “ or “Homeland Security – the series”  t-shirts on. It would have set the mood.

Want to hear what they said? These are 1 percenters and the like? There was a 50 -50 vote. Yes, 50% of the doctors and health professionals I spoke with do not believe in shots. Shit! What the what? We can’t get 50% of the public to come out to vote! I do not like those numbers. They scare me. They burst my little pro – shot cocoon of happy thoughts.

Ok, here are my lists. My fans require it – all 100 of them so here you go.

Measles: Signs

  1. Red bumpy rash
  2. High fever
  3. Soreness in eyes
  4. Fatigue
  5. Often have ear infections
  6. Can lead to Pneumonia or even encephalitis

Contagious

  1. 4-5 days before the rash
  2. 4-5 days after the rash
  3. Spread via touch, sharing of fluids, coughs, sneezes
  4. The virus can hang suspended in the air in droplets of phlegm or other body fluid for up to three hours

Gross! That means an infected person can sneeze and you come by and breathe in the germs an hour later —uggghhhh

Outbreaks

It is kind of the stuff a good virus horror flick is made of

In Bosnia and Philippines over 17,000 cases since 2008*

*probably more, some folks did not report the disease

Outbreak at Disneyland in California!

Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, NY

Outbreak in the rich suburbs of Seattle WA

Outbreak in Berkeley, California

Outbreak among the Amish in Ohio

23 outbreaks in America in 2014 and we have almost hit the same numbers in 2015 and its only March!

 

Yes, I too can see the movie version. The innocent student from afar comes to America, gives the virus to everyone on the plane, everyone at her school, and suddenly it mutates and all heck breaks out.

I am making light of a very touchy subject I know. We use the word outbreak for only a few cases. I am talking less than 700 in the USA in 2014. However, measles is one of the most contagious diseases there is. And in 2000 America declared it a dead disease. Well, it is obviously a zombie disease because it is back and the cases are growing. So far we have 873 in America… for 2015, now some of those may be from 2014 that are newly reported, I do not know the real numbers.

So what to do? Back in its hay day, measles killed 1 in 1000 afflicted. Not a biggie out of 700 people, unless of course that one is your baby.  With modern medicine, the fatality rate would probably be even lower.

So again, who gets to decide? The government? A child’s parents? Who gets to say what you have to do with your body?

In several Ohio, California, and New York school districts, children were being sent home if they were not immunized and had proof. Does the government have the right to say get a shot or no tax payer funded free education for you! There are people who refuse to give their kids shots because of religious reasons. At what point does the kid get a right to say getting measles, mumps or rubella would totally suck, give me the shot? On the flip side, if your kid is immunized, should you worry about the sick child, after all, your kid can’t catch it – right? Hmmmm

Why do I ponder on this and why should you? Well because if you can read this, you are old enough to have gotten a host of shots by now. They start at 6 months? We take them all the way to graduate school. There have been studies saying they caused autism that have found to be flawed. However, there is a group of parents that would swear on a stack of bibles, and well, have, in court, that their kids were perfectly healthy until getting shots and then viola! They became autistic. I have always read that kids with autism are born with it and you may not notice it until you see they are developmentally delayed. However for parents who had perfectly healthy acting kids at 3, 4, 5 years old to suddenly have the kid become autistic, it does beg the question, what else could have done it?

And are you willing to risk your child’s life on whether or not it may or may not affect him or her?

It’s not like the TV isn’t flooded with commercials with law firms offering big bucks to folks whose lives were turned upside down by some medicine that was previously touted as safe.

So what side are you on? Who can you trust? What to do? There are a lot of folks who would rather risk getting a comparatively rare contagious disease over putting what they consider poison, or unkosher, or unholy, or just unnatural in their bodies or the bodies of their children.

I have spoken with Doctors who are for and against it. I even spoke with PH.D candidates in pharmaceutical chemistry. These are the folks who actually make this stuff up with the help of a host of bio geneticists and immunologists and etc. etc. They are on the fence as well. Some even falsify their kid’s records so they don’t have to get the shots.

It’s not just measles. There has been a movement to avoid all immunizations. Measles is the current hot topic. However there are people walking around who haven’t received shots for mumps, rubella, oral polio vaccinations, etc. There are groups of folks so adamantly against immunizations they home school. They go to court; they do whatever they can to avoid immunizations. It is not just poor or uneducated, it is rich and very educated, it the very religious, the conspiracy theorists, and just folks who are scared. They rather risk getting a deadly disease than take a shot.

One guy at the University of Chicago said it is like taking a pain medicine. Sure it may relieve the pain. However, if you believe the pain will go away eventually anyway and you could bear it, why risk all of the side effects of the pain meds. I had to think on that. As a chronic pain sufferer for years, I have often opted for the pain. Sounds goofy huh? However if I know once I get home and put heat on my back and sit for a while the pain will subside, I chose not to dope up with medicine that clouds my thinking, impairs my driving, and makes me nauseous.

I only go there when the pain is blinding. Do we want to wait until the pain from preventable disease is so outrageous that we all run and get boosters and shots for the kids? Pain is like art it is subjective. But does a parent have a right to tell little Jimmy its ok if you may be laid up with this disease and miserable, I chose to make you risk it? Does the government have the right to rally to little Jimmy’s side and say we are now mom and dad get the shot? Are we all really little Jimmy in that there is something out there bigger than us, with power over us, that can make life changing decisions for us with no real say from us at all? We can’t all live off the grid in the middle of nowhere and avoid everyone and everything, we live in a society. That society, in many ways, controls us.

Scary stuff huh? Children and their health is no laughing matter. Adults get these illnesses too.  Most folks born before 57 are thought to have natural immunity to measles and unless they work in specific trades, may not have been inoculated. If their grand kid comes home with a contagious disease he may recover, their chances are slimmer.

So for me, I will get my shots. If I get to go overseas again I am getting shots for everything. I will take my chances. I do not want malaria, African sleeping sickness, or anything else I can possibly avoid.

I also don’t want to be on a plane, at work, anywhere – with folks who may have preventable illnesses. Immunizations are not 100%. Sorry they are not. They are more like 95% especially if the bottles weren’t kept at optimal temperature during travel or your immune system is suppressed.  It’s like using a condom. Ok you may get something bad anyway, stuff happens. However you are asking for trouble without one. I would rather we are all walking around 95% covered which lessens everyone’s chance of that 5% kicking you in the butt. Someone 0% covered is a recipe for trouble. And yes, you have a right to your body. And, no it is not fair for me to get a vote. However, unless you have the cash to buy a house in the middle of nowhere, 100% off the grid, (which is impossible in America, even the guys in the Alaskan wilds got clothes and buckets and mail on occasion), you do not have the right to put others at risk.

Don’t curse me out. It is just my opinion. I am perfectly willing to greenlight research on the efficacy and side effects of all immunization drugs. I don’t believe they are 100% safe or effective but they are what we have. Aspirin and water have side effects. Peanuts can send the wrong person to the grave. We have to use what we have at the moment and work hard to make it better.

What is your take on immunizations? Yes or No and why? It can be anonymous… Tell me about it, I am at Ms.Melissa@melissaweblog.com

 

Be healthy be happy be there for each other,

Love and Light,

Melissa

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