Tag: measles outbreaks

The Harlem Vaccine Forum

It isn’t a surprise that anti-vax folks will be hosting a vaccine forum in New York and that Bobby Kennedy is a part of it.

Why is Rev. Al Sharpton associated with the anti-vax Harlem Vaccine Forum?

It is a surprise to many that Rev. Al Sharpton is participating though.

The Harlem Vaccine Forum

Wait, how do we know that this is an anti-vax forum?

It's no surprise that they took the vaccines are dangerous link off the new flyer...
It’s no surprise that they took the vaccines are dangerous link off the new flyer…

The website for the event organizer is named vaccines are dangerous!

Did the Harlem AIDS Forum change anyone's understanding of HIV/AIDS?
Did the Harlem AIDS Forum change anyone’s understanding of HIV/AIDS?

A website and organizer who promotes the idea HIV is not the cause of AIDS!!!

Yes, HIV denialism is a thing…

Mothering no longer publishes a print magazine, but still has active anti-vaccine forums. How many HIV+ mothers listened to her advice?
Mothering no longer publishes a print magazine, but still has active anti-vaccine forums. How many HIV+ mothers listened to her advice?

Don’t recognize the name Christine Marjorie?

That’s because he really means Christine Maggiore.

Christine Maggiore spoke at the Harlem AIDS Forum in 1998. Her daughter, Eliza Jane, was born three years later.

Christine Maggiore, “the notorious AIDS denialist who barely escaped felony charges in 2006 after her baby died untreated for HIV, has herself succumbed to the disease she claimed did not exist.”

She died in 2008.

“Dr. Jay Gordon, a Santa Monica pediatrician who had treated Eliza Jane since she was a year old, said he should have demanded she be tested for the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, when, 11 days before she died, Maggiore brought her in with an apparent ear infection.”

HIV skeptic faces child’s death

Her daughter, Eliza Jane Scovill, died with AIDS related pneumonia in 2005.

And now the same folks who were pushing misinformation in a forum about HIV are holding a forum about vaccines to scare people away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

Or I should say another forum about vaccines pushing misinformation…

“…Reverend Sharpton’s National Action Network will host the Harlem Vaccine Forum at its 106 West 145th St. headquarters at noon. Medical doctors, holistic health practitioners, lawyers, activists and parents will discuss recent changes in New York’s vaccine laws that have a dramatic and disproportionate impact on African American families and their rights to religious practice, education and parental rights.”

Mary Holland on New York’s repeal of the religious exemption to vaccines: what it means for African American families

Misinformation from “medical doctors, holistic health practitioners, lawyers, activists and parents” targeting African American families that might already have lower vaccination rates.

“Compared with white children, black children had lower coverage with ≥3 and ≥4 doses of DTaP, the primary and full series of Hib, ≥3 and ≥4 doses of PCV, ≥2 doses of HepA, the completed rotavirus vaccine series, and the 7-vaccine series (Table 2).”

Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19–35 Months — United States, 2016

Maybe Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and the Harlem Vaccine Forum should focus on that issue…

“I do not believe in silencing people, because to silence people means to assume that I am so gullible that I am going to believe something because I hear it. If everyone is heard, then everyone can make their own decision.”

Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem HIV Forum

While he obviously doesn’t believe all of the ideas of the people that appear at his meetings, rallies, and forums, he would hopefully realize that providing these speakers with a platform to push their false ideas about vaccines creates the impression with many people that they have equal weight with the opinions of experts.

That gets in the way of the message that vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are necessary.

More on the The Harlem Vaccine Forum

Measles Outbreaks in New Zealand

Just like other areas of the world, New Zealand has a problem with measles outbreaks. It shouldn’t be surprising then that they also have a problem with folks pushing anti-vax misinformation.

Where are the areas in New Zealand with 97% MMR vaccination rates?
Where are the areas in New Zealand with 97% MMR vaccination rates? Just askin…

Are they really seeing the most measles cases in the areas with the highest vaccination rates?

Measles Outbreaks in New Zealand

One thing is sure, there are a lot of measles cases in New Zealand.

“From 1 January 2019 to 10 October 2019 there have been 1742 confirmed cases of measles notified across New Zealand. 1416 of these confirmed cases are in the Auckland region.”

2019 NZ measles outbreak information

Do we know which parts of New Zealand have the most measles outbreaks?

We do!

Where are the cases in the measles outbreaks in New Zealand?
The case count is now up to 1742…

Of course, this doesn’t really tell you anything about why some districts have more cases than others…

Is it because they have more unvaccinated people or simply because they have a lot more people?

Many of the measles cases in New Zealand are in infants too young to be vaccinated and in teens and young adults.
Many of the measles cases in New Zealand are in infants too young to be vaccinated and in teens and young adults.

Wherever they live, we know that like measles outbreaks in every other part of the world, few of the folks with measles in New Zealand are known to be fully vaccinated.

And while New Zealand had eliminated home grown-cases of measles just a few years ago, it wasn’t with vaccination rates of 97%.

“For immunisation from measles, rubella and mumps two doses of the vaccine called MMR are needed. Dr McElnay said among New Zealand’s children and infants, 95 percent had had the first dose and 90 percent the full vaccine.”

NZ eliminates NZ-origin measles

Unfortunately, while they were working to get younger kids vaccinated and protected, many older kids and adults are still not vaccinated.

“However, we must remain vigilant and improve our vaccination rates because these diseases can easily spread among unimmunised people from imported cases. In New Zealand, people aged 12 to 32 years have lower vaccination rates than young children so are less likely to be protected against these diseases.”

Measles and rubella officially eliminated in New Zealand

Only about 80% of teens and young adults are fully vaccinated against measles in New Zealand!

Combined with high numbers of folks who were never vaccinated and folks who travel to other parts of the world where measles is still endemic and you have a recipe for disaster.

“While there have been no measles deaths in this outbreak, there have been five pregnant women hospitalised and two fetal losses associated with these events.”

Report investigates high hospitalisation rates for measles in Auckland region

In addition to the two unborn babies who died, there are also reports of at least three hospitalisations for encephalitis.

Two doses of the MMR vaccine is your best protection against measles.

A disaster that could easily be prevented with two doses of a vaccine that is safe, with few risks, and obviously necessary.

More on Measles in New Zealand

The Rockland County Measles Outbreak is Ending

Maybe they don’t want to jinx it or maybe no one else is paying attention, but folks should know that the Rockland County measles outbreak should be very quietly ending this week.

The last new measles case in Rockland County was on August 15.
The last new measles case in Rockland County was reported on August 15.

Wait, don’t you need to go 42 days (two incubation periods) without a new case to declare an outbreak over?

The Rockland measles outbreak will end on September 26, when 42 days have passed since the last new measles case.
The Rockland measles outbreak will end on September 25, when 42 days have passed since the last new measles case.

Yes.

But besides the 16 historical cases which were added on August 26, the last new case in Rockland County was reported on August 15.

Folks were first exposed to an unvaccinated traveler in the Rockland County measles outbreak on September 28, 2018. By mid-November, there were already 68 confirmed cases in the area.
Folks were first exposed to an unvaccinated traveler in the Rockland County measles outbreak on September 28, 2018. By mid-November, there were already 68 confirmed cases in the area.

That means that the Rockland Count outbreak, which started in September 2018, will end, if there are no new cases, on September 25, 2019.

The Rockland County Measles Outbreak is Ending

While it is exciting news that the outbreak is ending, it is even more welcome and exciting that the outbreak is ending this week!

“Outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, New York have continued for nearly 8 months. If these outbreaks continue through summer and fall, the United States may lose its measles elimination status.”

U.S. measles cases in first five months of 2019 surpass total cases per year for past 25 years

If it had gone any longer, we would have been in danger of losing our status of having eliminated the endemic spread of measles.

Remember all of the talk about medical martial law in Rockland County?

And we would have had to continue to put up with anti-vax propaganda and misinformation that scares parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

Almost all of the measles cases in Rockland County were children and almost all of them were unvaccinated.
Almost all of the measles cases in Rockland County were children and almost all of them were unvaccinated.

Instead, as the outbreak ends, we will hopefully learn some lessons, get more folks vaccinated and protected and move towards having record low numbers of measles cases once again.

Still, the Rockland County measles outbreak, with 312 cases, will end as the longest measles outbreak since the end of the endemic spread of measles in 2000.

With 654 cases, the Brooklyn outbreak, which lasted 11 months and cost over $6 million to contain, gets the record for being the largest measles outbreak in recent history.

More on the Rockland County Measles Outbreak

Are the Measles Outbreaks in New York a Hoax?

Wait, why do some folks think that the measles outbreaks in New York are a hoax?

There were no confirmed cases in the measles outbreaks in New York, except the 654 measles cases that were confirmed… Some hoax!
There were no confirmed cases in the measles outbreaks in New York, except the 654 measles cases that were confirmed… Some hoax!

Oh, the usual suspects

Are the Measles Outbreaks in New York a Hoax?

Brooklyn, New York had 654 measles cases in the largest measles outbreak in 27 years.

There have been 312 confirmed cases in the measles outbreaks in Rockland, County, New York.

There have been an additional 312 confirmed, reported cases in Rockland County, New York, the longest measles outbreak since the endemic spread of measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

Were they a hoax?

“A total of 654 cases were confirmed, with rash onsets between September 30, 2018 and July 15, 2019. Serious complications included hospitalization (52), intensive unit care (19) and pneumonia (34). Multiple international importations of measles introduced into a community with prevalent delays in vaccination among young children propagated this outbreak.”

2019 Health Alert #26: Update on Measles Outbreak in New York City

Of course not!

The New York State Department of Health advises that on all suspected measles cases, “Viral specimens (nasopharyngeal swaband urine) and serology (IgM and IgG) should be obtained for diagnostic testing and confirmation.”

Were these cases all caused by vaccine strain measles, as Larry Palevesky suggests?

Of course not!

A vaccine strain has never before caused a measles outbreak. And NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, in a press conference, stated that “Yeah, it’s, you can’t get the measles from the vaccine.”

Although anti-vax folks often focus on the measles strain when there is an outbreak, all it really helps you do is figure out where the imported cases came from.

Even though health officials didn’t tell us the specific strains involved in the outbreaks, guess what, they did tell us the sources of the outbreak, so it is basically the same thing.

The cases were imported from Israel, UK, and Ukraine.

And the CDC has told us that “All measles cases this year have been caused by measles wild-type D8 or B3.”

“We have to stop blaming, accusing, targeting, ostracizing, condemning unvaccinated children as a health risk, which would then make this subject completely moot.”

Larry Palevsky

What else do we know about the measles outbreak in Brooklyn?

  • it began in October 2018 “with an unvaccinated child from Brooklyn who acquired measles in Israel”
  • it included 15 neighborhoods in Brooklyn, with most concentrated in Williamsburg, Borough Park, and Sunset Park
  • the majority of cases were in children, including at least 91 cases in infants less than 12 months old
  • the great majority of cases were unvaccinated, with only 27 cases fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR
  • there were 52 hospitalizations, including 16 ICU admissions

And the outbreak cost over $6 million to control!

The Rockland County measles outbreak is still ongoing.

At a gathering for the New York Alliance for Vaccine Rights and First Freedoms Community, these folks, including Larry Palevsky (left) are discussing the "alleged" measles outbreaks that New York spent $6 million and 500 staff to contain.
At a gathering for the New York Alliance for Vaccine Rights and First Freedoms Community, these folks, including Larry Palevsky (left) are discussing the “alleged” measles outbreaks that New York spent $6 million and 500 staff to contain.

So why do they think they are a hoax?

“There were over 800 kids who the New York State and New York City Department of Health have said were confirmed cases of measles. The real question is, were these really confirmed as per the CDC recommendations. We do not have that data. In fact, anecdotally, New York State told the physicians not to do the tests.”

Larry Palevsky

Is this about the strains again? Is this about the fact that once you know you are in the middle of a huge measles outbreak, you might be able to start diagnosing kids clinically?

“New York State lied when they said that there were confirmed cases. We don’t know what kind of illnesses the kids had. And there’s a set of papers in the literature that specifically state that if the children are found by analysis to have a measles virus infection that is consistent with a side effect of the vaccine, it is important for the Department of Health to alert the public that it was a vaccine strain that caused the outbreak, because a vaccine strain illness should not be equated with a public health emergency. [Applause]”

Larry Palevsky

Yes, it is about the strains…

“So the reality is that when there is a vaccine strain measles outbreak, meaning that the vaccine itself was not properly attenuated, meaning it was more active and virulent than just simply giving an antibody response in the body, when that occurs an outbreak is almost always very very close to the vest, meaning that would explain why it was only seen in two communities out of 62. And if New York state had done the proper testing of the vaccine to see if it was too virulent and of the children who had the measles infection to see what type of measles virus they had, then in all likelihood this was a vaccine strain measles infection which is known to be a side effect of the vaccine and not a public health emergency.”

Larry Palevsky

Is any of that true?

Since we have never had an outbreak of measles from an MMR vaccine that wasn’t properly attenuated, I’m guessing no, it isn’t. Also remember that to control the outbreak, they gave lots and lots of MMR vaccine to unvaccinated folks in those communities…

What about his explanation for why we only saw outbreaks in Brooklyn and Rockland Counties? Well, for one thing, we didn’t. Other areas of New York and of course, around the country have seen a rise in measles. And the outbreaks in Brooklyn and Rockland Counties were caused when unvaccinated folks traveled to Israel, UK, and Ukraine and returned to an area with low immunization rates. They weren’t caused by a bad batch or mutant strains of measles in the MMR vaccine.

“So the New York State Department of Health failed to do their job and instead they lied and said the cases were confirmed and they didn’t do their due diligence to actually evaluate all the possible reasons that an outbreak could have occurred. It’s very strange that two communities where there are lots of people moving through those communities that are non-Jewish, that are outside of the state that are coming through and why just those communities got the illness. That should have raised the red flag that something else was going on and your state failed us.”

Is it possible that those other people moving in and out of those communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County were vaccinated and protected against measles?!?

One thing should be very clear.

Brooklyn may have stopped their measles outbreak, but New York still has a public health emergency on their hands.

Well, not just New York. We need to stop this kind of propaganda if we want to keep parents from being scared to immunize and protect their kids.

More on Measles in NY