What is the vaccine guide?

I have been seeing more and more of the “Vaccine Guide” in social media and decided to take a look at it. What is it, who made it, what does it have inside of it?  As I am fond of doing, I am taking one for team pro-vax here by reading it myself.

The “Vaccine Guide” is a very slick, well-made looking website with a guide supposedly to everything you need to know about vaccines. You can browse the information online by clicking on the colored sections below or you can download it and take it to a printer to be printed. People also sell them, already printed, online for about $170 a pop in full color.  The guide was created by Ashley Everly Cates, an Idaho woman with a bachelor’s degree in environmental toxicology from University California Davis. She currently runs a group called  Health Freedom Idaho and, as near as I can tell, has never actually worked in toxicology nor written any papers. It should be noted that it is usual practice to only call those with a Ph.D. in toxicology a “toxicologist” but Ashley continually markets herself as a practicing toxicologist. As she has never had any experience beyond the undergraduate degree, this is misleading.

Note: I am going to address a recent comment made to me. Please note there are three reasons I am specifying that Ashley is not a toxicologist. She has only a BS in the field, has never worked in the field, and has published no papers in the field. The BS alone is not the only factor. 

I am a very visual person so I will be referring to every color by it’s Crayola name.

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First up, yellow-orange section or VAERS, etc.  I notice that Ashley has linked to some good information on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) until I realize she has only put up screenshots of pages, not actual links to the actual data. Furthermore, none of the screenshots come with explanations of why they were chosen. There is also a screenshot of a report from Harvard Pilgrim medical group on VAERS reports but the report is not explained in any detail. I feel it would be difficult for the average person to understand the implications of the report and the validity of the data. In actuality, Harvard Pilgrim is a Vaccine Safety Datalink member and they are charged by the US government to monitor vaccine safety. Within their system, they found some underreporting of vaccine adverse events but it is not clear, by reading the study, if this underreporting has any significance on public health, is an artifact of just their system, or is perpetuated by other VSD members.  I feel strongly it is disingenuous to post this study without clarification.

Update: It has come to my attention that I missed the word source on each page of Ashley’s guide. My apologies.  Thus, one can, in fact, link out to the original sources if you use her website. However, if you print the guide and/or buy it as a notebook, you will only get the screenshots. I have edited this post to reflect this correction.

Next up, neon carrot section: vaccine inserts.  This is just URLs linking to the inserts without any explanation of their validity or what they really mean. Nothing is mentioned about how inserts are only written about clinical trials and how they do not list proven side effects. With that in mind, here are some great links on how to read vaccine inserts.

Vaxopedia      or     Skeptical Raptor

The third section is mango tango: It is about vaccine ingredients. First off is a list of vaccine ingredients or excipients.  Then, Ashley has put some links to screenshots about specific ingredients. What I notice right away about the screenshots is that there is nothing about why she thinks they are valid?  This is what we call cherry-picking – choosing studies that make your point but not checking them for actual validity. Validity is incredibly important. Maybe Ashley did not learn this at Davis? As an undergraduate at the University of California, Irvine, I certainly learned the importance of judging a study for validity. Here is a very good read on the basics of how to judge a study for validity.

What Ashley has done is list a bunch of studies showing the supposed dangers of aluminum adjuvants but she has not quantified why she thinks those studies are valid nor compared to other literature. This kind of analysis is shoddy and would have earned her a very bad grade in her research methods class.

In reality, aluminum adjuvants are very safe. My scientist friend, Abe, otherwise known as the Blood-Brain Barrier scientist, has done an excellent job of explaining on his blog. Abe gets to actually refer to himself as an expert as he has a Ph.D. in molecular medicine and is a professor at Texas Tech University.  Abe also has a blog where he explains aluminum adjuvants, among other subjects. Herein, Abe discusses junk science (cough what Ashley shares cough) and why it is junk. As I was taught by the esteemed Dr. Linton Freeman, professor emeritus at University California, Irvine, you have to be able to critically analyze pros and cons of studies, validity, and reliability and explain this in detail, if you want to be taken seriously. Anything less is shoddy work and deserves and F. Lint is a hardass, but I got the only As in his classes for a reason. Man is a genius.

The rest of the ingredients section is more negative thoughts on ingredients, screenshots of papers decrying ingredients, and nothing explaining validity at all. It is intellectually dishonest to try to persuade people with an emotional argument and not present valid arguments to make your point. Ashley has presented nothing valid at all. Just screenshots.

For more on vaccine ingredients, I would recommend the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education website as well as Scientist Abe’s website. Todd has also done a nice job at his blog, Harpocrates Speaks.  I share these links because they are more than screenshots – the explain the ingredients in full and link outside to more information.

The wild watermelon section is called Asymptomatic transmission and shedding.  Again, we have more screenshots without explanations. As the average reader is not trained in how to read studies for validity, I again find this disingenuous.  I am somewhat knowledgeable about how to read studies but I do not have a Ph.D. so I ask for help when I need it. I have resources to help me understand what I am reading. Ashley is relying on the appeal to her authority and assuming readers will simply take her word for why these studies indicate vaccines should be avoided.

Here is the problem with Ashley’s motive: lawmakers and policymakers are going to rely on actual experts in the field to inform them on risks, benefits, and issues therein.  When it comes to understanding the FDA pertussis studies on baboons, many antivaxers assume the two studies indicate baboons shed vaccine-derived pertussis to others when nothing could be further from the truth.  The FDA studies with baboons concluded that vaccinated baboons protected their newborns from pertussis, did not get a severe infection when exposed, did not shed the vaccine, but could colonize pertussis infection in their throats without symptoms. In other words, the worst that can happen with pertussis vaccine is you might get a mild pertussis infection or you might have the bacteria in your throat with no symptoms.  So, being vaccinated doesn’t prevent 100% of pertussis infections but it prevents babies from dying and prevents the 100-day cough. Does Ashley explain these facts?  NOPE!  Bad form!!

Ashley then goes on to cite a very few rare examples of vaccines shedding but does not tell readers how rates chickenpox, flu, rotavirus, rubella, measles, mumps, etc are all extraordinarily low THANKS TO VACCINES. Read The Pink Book for infection data.

Again, this is extremely disingenuous! This is borderline lying, in my book, as it is implying vaccines cause disease without explaining the validity of these actual case studies. One study, for example, is about a boy who got chickenpox vaccine, got the very rare pox, and his pregnant mother also got an infection. This could only have happened if she had been touching her son’s pox. This is extremely rare but also very easily avoidable – don’t get your toddlers vaccinated for chickenpox if you are pregnant and, if you are, don’t touch the pox!  There is a very good reason disease rates are low and it’s name is VACCINES.

The fuschia section is called Effectiveness.  This section is, as usual, only screenshots of studies, often just abstracts. Why she thinks abstracts are enough to read is confounding.  Abstracts are tiny summaries. One must read the full study to judge. Again, did Davis not teach her this fact?? This section could easily fool people until they read the full studies and compare to rates of actual disease, look at genotypes and strains, and realize the whole dang section is proof vaccines work! Also, most of the links therein are not vaccine strains anyway.

Ashley also links to information on pertussis outbreaks and herd immunity.  This is a common trope from antivaxers – the idea that if vaccines don’t work 100% then they are useless. For example, she cites a Fordham University mumps outbreak. There were 13 cases, all vaccinated, out of 10,000 undergraduates. Thus, the vaccine had a hugely effective rate and protected most all students. Vaccine win.

Necessity of vaccination, the royal purple section, is Ashley’s attempt to convince people vaccines are not necessary. For some reason, it starts off with a screenshot of a report from the Royal College of Ireland in 1959. Baffling. I guess she feels this is proof measles is harmless?  I prefer to link to this paper by Walter Orenstein, et al, which analyses the death and complications rates in the USA.

Ashley goes on to link to some more papers questioning the contribution vaccines made to history. For example, she links to a paper on the CDC history of drinking water. As measles, diphtheria, flu, and more are respiratory infections, clean water did not affect them.  She further links to mortality (death) statistics without quantifying that while Americans were dying less of preventable diseases, they were suffering more. As the Orenstein, et al, paper indicates, measles rate was higher in 1950s USA than any other decade in the USA. People were dying less because of medical care but they were still suffering.

Another abstract to which she links is entitled “Human milk mucin inhibits rotavirus replication and prevents experimental gastroenteritis.” As the full study is not linked, the implication is that breastfeeding prevents gastro infections. I am here to tell that is 100% false. Read my tale here.

Plus, again, it is not genuinely informative to link only to an abstract. What does the rest of the paper say? Is it valid? Are the methods they used valid and reliable? Ashley does not cover any of these topics.

The rest of this section has some information on how vitamins might help cure diseases like measles and polio but we know that, for example, vitamin A is only used with measles to lower the complication and rate. It does not eradicate the risks. With viral diseases, there is no good evidence vitamins prevent suffering. Vitamin C does not cure a cold.  Vitamin C is not a cure-allPauling was wrong. Just because some guy in the 1930s gave polio patients vitamin C and some of them did not die does not mean vitamin C is a cure-all.

The navy blue section is on adverse reactions.  This is, once again, more screenshots of abstracts with no explanation as to validity. I have been over how autism is not caused by vaccines many times. You cand read more here and here. Ashley is lying to her readers to say vaccines cause autism and not explain the validity of the abstracts she has screenshot or link to more current research. This is unbelievable maddening. Shameful!  This entire section is an embarrassment to the University of California. Honestly, they should revoke her degree. Linking only to abstracts and not explaining reliability is egregious. She lists few, rare side effects documented but does not link to the vast number of positive outcomes from vaccines? Compared to the number of vaccines given, the USA has compensated 0.0000011% of vaccinees for injury. That is an INCREDIBLE safety rate.

Ashley is not sharing with her readers any accurate science. She is lying.  She shares a screenshot of a badly done analysis of SIDS rates without quantifying that SIDS rate is at a historic low in the USA and the more we vaccinate, the fewer babies die.

The final section is pine green and called Incentives.  This is where the conspiracy theories start. There is a link to a HuffPo article SPIDER, a made-up controversy that went nowhere. There is a link to the badly done Cochrane HPV review that led to a kerfuffle and some careers tanking. There is a link about the ICAN HHS lawsuit that went nowhere. I wrote about that here.

She further goes on to discuss provider incentives but does not explain them at all. I explain how they work here and my friend, Vince, does so here.

In conclusion, this is a sad bunch of cherry-picked, screenshots of abstracts with no explanations as to the validity, nothing is given to readers to inform them why what they are reading is important. Ashley is duping her readers and relying on their gullibility. Most parents want their children to be safe and healthy and Ashley is using scare tactics to influence parents into not vaccinating.

 

She should be thoroughly ashamed of herself.

For more on this guide, be sure to read Science-Based Medicine’s post on it.

Remember to always verify claims. This is a perfect example!!

 

 

Why I am not antivax

I could be antivax. Why am I not? Why do some people become antivax and others do not?

I have all the markers.  I have been hurt by medical professionals. I have had issues with medical professionals that could have led me to mistrust them all completely. I was a vegetarian for a while. I was very crunchy, in my early parenting years.  I shopped only at the organic food coop for years!

I have been harmed by doctors and had my health compromised by their actions.

I had a bad reaction to the MMR.

I had an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic once.

My second child was birthed out of the hospital, at a free-standing birth center, with a midwife. I have used naturopaths for healthcare. I once questioned whether aluminum adjuvants were safe. I once thought chicken pox vaccine was not necessary. I once thought flu vaccine lowered our resistance to infection and led to more illness in flu season. I have been, in the past, prescribed too much medication and that led to immune dysfunction. A naturopath helped me heal my gut.

Why am I not antivax?

It is because of this guy.

220px-Frans_Hals_-_Portret_van_René_Descartes

René Descartes (1596–1650) was a creative mathematician of the first order, an important scientific thinker, and an original metaphysician. I am not being pretentious. I was a math major in college, for a while, and then got a BA in sociology because I love the way math, rational thinking, statistics, and the study of humans intertwine. I minored in French. I am extremely rational, to the point of often not getting jokes or sarcasm. I read numerous of Descartes’ writings as an undergrad and as a graduate student in education.  Descartes is considered the “father of rational thinking” for a reason.

And by that, I mean that regardless of what I went through I kept thinking rationally about it and that is why I never became antivax or anti-medicine, despite my negative experiences.

Let’s visit the back story.

First of all, I was a really healthy kid.

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Yep, that is me with pooka shell necklace in 3rd grade. Look at that tan.  In the 70s, we didn’t realize tanning was dangerous.

I was a healthy California beach kid. I spent most of my time, other than at school, outdoors, mostly barefoot. We roamed the hills, we played with gourds and thistles and we were gone from home as much as possible. Mom fed us mostly whole grains and fresh food. Occasionally, she would buy us Oreos or Ding Dongs but that was rare. We were eating bulgur wheat and brown rice and whole grain bread as soon as we had teeth. Mom never bought us soda or sugary cereal except on rare occasions when camping in summer. And I was a healthy kid. I had chicken pox twice, as a kid, but never broke any bones. I was in the ER for stitches a bunch as a toddler (I was incorrigible) but was never hospitalized nor had anything serious happen to me, ever, as a child. I had a few ear infections or cases of bronchitis, in elementary school, but nothing very serious. And, I had been fully vaccinated more than the standard schedule because I lived in Central America as a young child. So, unlike most California 70s kids, I had smallpox and other travel vaccines on top of regular vaccines.

But, I was a healthy kid!

As a teen, I was also healthy. I ate healthily, was slim, played sports, got a few sinus infections, but was mostly healthy. Rarely missed school.

kathyhighschool

By age 18, I was accepted to University of California Irvine, I was done with varsity tennis, I had passed the AP English and Biology exams, and I had a job as a Lancome counter girl at the local department store. I was working out almost daily. I was an advanced skier. I was very fit and healthy. I worked out daily, either running or ballet or a the gym for aerobics. I was an almost vegetarian and rarely ate junk food.

In early August 1984, I got infectious mononucleosis (EBV) and I was very sick. I ended up bedridden for 6 weeks, I had hepatitis, I had to quit my job, I had to go to the MD weekly for blood work, I was inches away from being hospitalized, according to my family MD.  I was in so much pain from hepatitis I could not stand up straight. I had so little energy that I needed help getting out of bed and getting downstairs.

It took about six weeks but I  recovered from EBV and started my freshman year of college and thrived except that I started having allergy issues. By mid-year 1985, I was referred to an allergist and started allergy shots and meds. I developed a few sinus infections and, once, had an anaphylactic reaction to the medication ( sulfa drugs).  I lost trust (long story) in the first allergist but I trusted our family doc and he sent me to another allergist.

The new allergist handled every bad cold the same way. I would get an x-ray, he would confirm sinus infection, and he would prescribe antibiotics and steroid nasal spray and prednisone.  The two years I spent with him, I went through this routine an average of 7 times each year. So, in two years, I went through 14 sinus x-rays, 14 rounds of antibiotics, 14 rounds of steroid nasal spray, and 14 rounds of prednisone. It is a wonder I was still able to work and be a full-time student and even live in France as an exchange student, but I did all of that and maintained a GPA of 3.8 and I graduated cum laude.

By 1987, I was immune compromised, had systemic yeast infections, had chronic thrush, and was sicker than well. I managed to get through graduate school, while working full time but was still suffering from chronic infections.

In 1991, there was a measles outbreak on my university’s campus and I had to get another MMR. I had a bad reaction to it and ended up with my arm in a sling for a week and on pain meds.  My arm swelled up like there was a tennis ball in it, at the injection site. It took a week to go away.

By 1992, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.

At this point, I could have become anti-modern medicine. They certainly were not doing anything to help me get better! They never had answers for me, just pills for my symptoms.

In 1994, I got married. My husband and I wanted to have children but he worried I was on too many medications. So, I decided to give something new a try – a naturopath. At the time, we lived in Seattle which was then home to the Bastyr University clinic.  Growing up in California, I had never heard of a naturopath. Believe it or not, Washington state is much more liberal about licensing alternative healthcare practitioners than California. Being literally desperate, I gave the Bastyr clinic a try. I ended up with Nooshin Darvish, who was amazing and helpful and very respectful of me putting limits on the scope of her practice. To this date, I credit her with helping me be alive today and have two children. She was wonderful.

Okay, okay, you are wondering how the hell I could speak positively about a naturopathy. They are so wooey! They practice pseudoscience!  Well, Nooshin did two things with me that solved pretty much everything. She sent me for bloodwork and she had me get a sample of my poop and tested it. I had been to multiple medical doctors, over the years, and no one had ever done either of those things.  I even had a camera put down my throat and a barium enema xray and no one ever analyzed my stools for anything. With the bloodwork, Nooshin discovered I was anemic and had very low thyroid. With the stool sample, she discovered that I had yeast overgrowth in my digestive system.  Given the fact that I still occasionally got thrush in my throat, this was not a surprise. She put me on iron supplements, probiotics, Synthroid, and had me go on an elimination diet.  I discovered that corn and wheat products made my digestive system ache so I avoided them, as well as alcohol and sugar not related to a few servings of fruit a day. I ate this way for about two years. I probably didn’t need to go that long on this diet but I was afraid to stop because, within six months, I was feeling well again! She also introduced me to the neti pot and sinus lavage.  By 1996, I was healthy enough to start thinking about having children! We bought our first house and, instead of having kids right away, we spent 5 years fixing up a major fixer, but I was healthy again and that was the point. Also, nothing Nooshin did with me was super wooey (at my request).  I purposely avoided homeopathy and acupuncture and anything I felt was not well supported by published studies.

But, again, at this point, I could have gone into the deep end and become anti-medicine and anti-vaccine. It is really only through my insistence on paying attention to evidence that I stayed the course. I always asked her to give me evidence for whatever she wanted to do and we would discuss it. After she graduated and I switched to a private practice ND, Dr Paris Preston in Seattle, I stayed the same course – evidence first. There really are some good naturopaths, you see, ones that base their ideas on scientific evidence.  (some can be found at NDs for Vaccines). I no longer live in Seattle and my children and I see a family doctor for our healthcare now, but I do credit naturopathy for where I am today.

So, my question is, why do some people stay rational and others stop?   Why do some people become antivax and others do not? What can we do to stop this or help them?

Discuss!

 

 

Remember to think for yourself!

Kathy

 

Diseases and their risks

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The list below popped up in chats this weekend. Where did it come from? I have no clue. But it is 100% wrong. Dangerously wrong.

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Original comments in italics, facts in red.

Chicken Pox = itchy rash; 5-7 days; resolves itself. In the prevaccine era, approximately 11,000 persons with varicella required hospitalization each year. Hospitalization rates were approximately 2 to 3 per 1,000 cases among healthy children and 8 per 1,000 cases among adults. Death occurred in approximately 1 in 60,000 cases. From 1990 through 1996, an average of 103 deaths from varicella were reported each year. Most deaths occur in immunocompetent children and adults. Since 1996, hospitalizations and deaths from varicella have declined more than 70% and 88% respectively.

Diptheria = low fever, sore throat; many infections are asymptomatic or mild; treat with antitoxin and antibiotics. The most frequent complications of diphtheria are myocarditis and neuritis.The overall case-fatality rate for diphtheria is 5%-10%, with higher death rates (up to 20%) among persons younger than 5 and older than 40 years of age. The case-fatality rate for diphtheria has changed very little during the last 50 years..

Haemophilus influenzae Type B (Hib) = flu symptoms, stiff neck; treat with antibiotics for 10 days.  Invasive disease caused by H. influenzae type b can affect many organ systems. The most common types of invasive disease are meningitis, epiglottitis, pneumonia, arthritis, and cellulitis.

Meningitis is infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord and is the most common clinical manifestation of invasive Hib disease, accounting for 50%-65% of cases in the prevaccine era. Hallmarks of Hib meningitis are fever, decreased mental status, and stiff neck (these symptoms also occur with meningitis caused by other bacteria). Hearing impairment or other neurologic sequelae occur in 15%-30% of survivors. The case-fatality rate is 3%-6%, despite appropriate antimicrobial therapy.

Hepatitis A = transmitted orally through feces; children usually have no symptoms; flu symptoms, jaundice; resolves itself. Severe clinical manifestations of hepatitis A infection are rare, however atypical complications may occur, including immunologic, neurologic, hematologic, pancreatic, and renal extrahepatic manifestations. Relapsing hepatitis, cholestatic hepatitis A, hepatitis A triggering autoimmune hepatitis, subfulminant hepatitis, and fulminant hepatitis have also been reported. Fulminant hepatitis is the most severe rare complication, with mortality estimates up to 80%. In the prevaccine era, fulminant hepatitis A caused about 100 deaths per year in the United States. The hepatitis A case-fatality rate among persons of all ages with reported cases was approximately 0.3% but may have been higher among older persons (approximately 2% among persons 40 years of age and older) More recent case-fatality estimates range from 0.3%-0.6% for all ages and up to 1.8% among adults aged >50 years. Vaccination of high risk groups and public health measures have significantly reduced the number of overall hepatitis A cases and fulminant HAV cases. Nonetheless, hepatitis A results in substantial morbidity, with associated costs caused by medical care and work loss.

Hepatitis B = transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids; flu symptoms, jaundice; most people do not show symptoms; acute Hep B resolves itself.  While most acute HBV infections in adults result in complete recovery, fulminant hepatitis occurs in about 1% to 2% of acutely infected persons. About 200 to 300 Americans die of fulminant disease each year (case-fatality rate 63% to 93%). Of children who become infected with HBV between 1 year and 5 years of age, 30% to 50% become chronically infected. By adulthood, the risk of acquiring chronic HBV infection is approximately 5%. Acute HBV progresses to chronic HBV in approximately 40% of hemodialysis patients and up to 20% of patients with immune deficiencies. An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 persons die of hepatitis B-related cirrhosis each year in the United States. Persons with chronic HBV infection are at 12 to 300 times higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma than noncarriers. An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 persons die each year in the United States of hepatitis B-related liver cancer.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) = transmitted sexually; usually resolves itself with no symptoms; takes years to develop into cancer; regular pap screens prevent cancer; vaccine discontinued in Japan due to adverse reactions. The CDC and National Cancer Institute’s United States Cancer Statistics Working Group reports that from 2005 through 2009 there were annual averages of 12,595 cases and 3,968 deaths due to cervical cancer. HPV is believed to be responsible for nearly all of these cases of cervical cancer. HPV types 16 and 18 are associated with 70% of these cancers.

In addition to cervical cancer, HPV is believed to be responsible for 90% of anal cancers, 71% of vulvar, vaginal, or penile cancers, and 72% of oropharyngeal cancers.

Also, pap smears can only detect cancer. They cannot prevent it. 
Influenza – a.k.a. “the flu”; high fever, cold symptoms, vomiting; lasts 7-10 days; resolves itself; vaccine contains mercury (thimerosal). “Classic” influenza disease is characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, myalgia, sore throat, nonproductive cough, and headache. The fever is usually 101°–102°F, and accompanied by prostration (bedridden). The onset of fever is often so abrupt that the exact hour is recalled by the patient. Myalgias mainly affect the back muscles. Cough is believed to be a result of tracheal epithelial destruction. Additional symptoms may include rhinorrhea (runny nose), headache, substernal chest burning and ocular symptoms (e.g., eye pain and sensitivity to light).  Most pediatric flu deaths are in unvaccinated children. 

Measles = fever, cold symptoms, rash; 7-10 days; resolves itself. Diarrhea was reported in 8% of measles cases, making this the most commonly reported complication of measles. Otitis media was reported in 7% of cases and occurs almost exclusively in children. Pneumonia (in 6% of reported cases) may be viral or superimposed bacterial, and is the most common cause of measles-related death. Acute encephalitis occurs in approximately 0.1% of reported cases. Death from measles was reported in approximately 0.2% .  SSPE is another complication, which is 100% fatal. 

Meningitis = flu symptoms, stiff neck; usually caused by bacteria or virus; viral usually causes no symptoms and resolves itself; bacterial is spread through saliva (kissing, coughing); most people who ‘carry’ the bacteria never become sick; bacterial is treated with antibiotics. The case-fatality ratio of meningococcal disease is 10% to 15%, even with appropriate antibiotic therapy. The case-fatality ratio of meningococcemia is up to 40%. As many as 20% of survivors have permanent sequelae, such as hearing loss, neurologic damage, or loss of a limb.

Mumps = fever, swelling of salivary glands; many people show no symptoms; resolves itself within a few weeks.  Complications include orchitis in 12%-66% in postpubertal males (prevaccine) 3%-10% (postvaccine), Pancreatitis in 3.5% (prevaccine), Unilateral Deafness 1/20,000 (prevaccine) and Death 2/10,000 from 1966-1971. In the prevaccine era, mumps accounted for approximately 10% of cases of symptomatic aseptic meningitis (inflammatory cells in cerebrospinal fluid resulting in headache or stiff neck). Men were afflicted three times as often as women. Aseptic meningitis resolves without sequelae in 3 to 10 days. Mumps encephalitis accounted for 36% of all reported encephalitis cases in the United States in 1967.
Pertussis = a.k.a. “whooping cough”; resolves itself. The most common complication, and the cause of most pertussis-related deaths, is secondary bacterial pneumonia. Young infants are at highest risk for acquiring pertussis-associated complications. Data from 1997–2000 indicate that pneumonia occurred in 5.2% of all reported pertussis cases, and among 11.8% of infants younger than 6 months of age. Neurologic complications such as seizures and encephalopathy (a diffuse disorder of the brain) may occur as a result of hypoxia (reduction of oxygen supply) from coughing, or possibly from toxin. Neurologic complications of pertussis are more common among infants. Other less serious complications of pertussis include otitis media, anorexia, and dehydration. Complications resulting from pressure effects of severe paroxysms include pneumothorax, epistaxis, subdural hematomas, hernias, and rectal prolapse.

Pneumococcus = flu symptoms, stiff neck; treat with antibiotics.  Approximately 400,000 hospitalizations from pneumococcal pneumonia are estimated to occur annually in the United States. Pneumococci account for up to 36% of adult community-acquired pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia has been demonstrated to complicate influenza infection. About 25-30% of patients with pneumococcal pneumonia also experience pneumococcal bacteremia. The case-fatality rate is 5%–7% and may be much higher among elderly persons. Other complications of pneumococcal pneumonia include empyema (i.e., infection of the pleural space), pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart), and endobronchial obstruction, with atelectasis and lung abscess formation.

More than 12,000 cases of pneumococcal bacteremia without pneumonia occur each year. The overall case-fatality rate for bacteremia is about 20% but may be as high as 60% among elderly patients. Patients with asplenia who develop bacteremia may experience a fulminant clinical course.

Pneumococci cause over 50% of all cases of bacterial meningitis in the United States. An estimated 3,000 to 6,000 cases of pneumococcal meningitis occur each year.

Poliomyelitis = 72% of infections cause no symptoms; 25% flu-like symptoms that last 2-5 days; 0.5% leads to more severe symptoms such as paralytic polio; only people with the paralytic infection are considered to have the disease.  Up to 72% of all polio infections in children are asymptomatic. Approximately 24% of polio infections in children consist of a minor, nonspecific illness without clinical or laboratory evidence of central nervous system invasion. This clinical presentation is known as abortive poliomyelitis, and is characterized by complete recovery in less than a week. This is characterized by a low grade fever and sore throat.  Nonparalytic aseptic meningitis (symptoms of stiffness of the neck, back, and/or legs), usually following several days after a prodrome similar to that of minor illness, occurs in 1%–5% of polio infections in children. Increased or abnormal sensations can also occur. Typically these symptoms will last from 2 to 10 days, followed by complete recovery. The death-to-case ratio for paralytic polio is generally 2%–5% among children and up to 15%–30% for adults (depending on age). It increases to 25%–75% with bulbar involvement. In the immediate prevaccine era, improved sanitation allowed less frequent exposure and increased the age of primary infection. Boosting of immunity from natural exposure became more infrequent and the number of susceptible persons accumulated, ultimately resulting in the occurrence of epidemics, with 13,000 to 20,000 paralytic cases reported annually.

Rotavirus = vomiting, diarrhea; children, even those that are vaccinated, may develop rotavirus disease more than once. Rotavirus infection may result in severe dehydrating diarrhea with fever and vomiting. Up to one-third of infected children may have a temperature greater than 102°F (39°C).  

In the prevaccine era an estimated 3 million rotavirus infections occurred every year in the United States and 95% of children experienced at least one rotavirus infection by age 5 years. Rotavirus infection was responsible for more than 400,000 physician visits, more than 200,000 emergency department (ED) visits, 55,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations, and 20 to 60 deaths each year in children younger than 5 years. Annual direct and indirect costs were estimated at approximately $1 billion, primarily due to the cost of time lost from work to care for an ill child.

In the prevaccine era, rotavirus accounted for 30% to 50% of all hospitalizations for gastroenteritis among U.S. children younger than 5 years of age; the incidence of clinical illness was highest among children 3 to 35 months of age. 

There has been a 90% reduction in cases since the vaccine. 

Rubella = a.k.a. “three day measles”; flu symptoms; 1-3 days; 25 to 50% of people infected with rubella will not experience any symptoms; resolves itself. Symptoms are often mild, and up to 50% of infections may be subclinical or inapparent. In children, rash is usually the first manifestation and a prodrome is rare. In older children and adults, there is often a 1 to 5 day prodrome with low-grade fever, malaise, lymphadenopathy, and upper respiratory symptoms preceding the rash. The rash of rubella is maculopapular and occurs 14 to 17 days after exposure. The rash usually occurs initially on the face and then progresses from head to foot. It lasts about 3 days and is occasionally pruritic. The rash is fainter than measles rash and does not coalesce.

The concern about rubella was congenital rubella syndrome.  Prevention of CRS is the main objective of rubella vaccination programs in the United States.

A rubella epidemic in the United States in 1964–1965 resulted in 12.5 million cases of rubella infection and about 20,000 newborns with CRS. The estimated cost of the epidemic was $840 million. This does not include the emotional toll on the families involved. Congenital infection with rubella virus can affect virtually all organ systems. Deafness is the most common and often the sole manifestation of congenital rubella infection, especially after the fourth month of gestation. Eye defects, including cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy, and microphthalmia may occur. Cardiac defects such as patent ductus arteriosus, ventricular septal defect, pulmonic stenosis, and coarctation of the aorta are possible. Neurologic abnormalities, including microcephaly and mental retardation, and other abnormalities, including bone lesions, splenomegaly, hepatitis, and thrombocytopenia with purpura may occur.

Tetanus = sudden, painful contractions of muscle groups; caused by Clostridium tetani transmitted through broken skin; prevention is to allow wound to bleed freely because the bacteria needs oxygen to germinate; treatment is tetanus immunoglobulin injection and hospitalization. 

Laryngospasm (spasm of the vocal cords) and/or spasm of the muscles of respiration leads to interference with breathing. Fractures of the spine or long bones may result from sustained contractions and convulsions. Hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system may lead to hypertension and/or an abnormal heart rhythm.

Nosocomial infections are common because of prolonged hospitalization. Secondary infections may include sepsis from indwelling catheters, hospital-acquired pneumonias, and decubitus ulcers. Pulmonary embolism is particularly a problem in drug users and elderly patients. Aspiration pneumonia is a common late complication of tetanus, found in 50%-70% of autopsied cases. In recent years, tetanus has been fatal in approximately 11% of reported cases. Cases most likely to be fatal are those occurring in persons 60 years of age and older (18%) and unvaccinated persons (22%). In about 20% of tetanus deaths, no obvious pathology is identified and death is attributed to the direct effects of tetanus toxin.

We’ve likely all seen this famous depiction of tetanus. Modern sufferers are put into a coma to prevent those spasms from causing unbearable pain and breaking limbs.

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Vaccine Risks = ALL product inserts list numerous potential reactions including impaired immune system; autoimmune disorders; and/or death. All vaccine inserts DO NOT list potential reactions but adverse reactions reported without regard to causation. See explanation here. 

Vaccines that shed (are contagious): Measles, Mumps, Varicella (Chicken Pox), Oral Polio, Rubella, Rotavirus, Influenza (Flumist). Vaccine shedding is a non issue.

My references

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878093

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/chapters.html

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/sspe-a-deadly-and-not-that-rare-complication-of-measles/

 

As always, verify your claims

 

Kathy