No one should be surprised either that they have invented 101 different theories about why kids are dying in Samoa.
It can’t simply be that they are unvaccinated and that measles is a life-threatening disease! That would interfere with their whole world view that it is okay to leave their own kids unvaccinated and unprotected because they think that vaccines are dangerous, aren’t necessary, and vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t that big of a deal.
Is the Samoan Measles Outbreak Fabricated?
And that gets us to the idea that the measles outbreak in Samoa is fake or unnatural.
Was the measles outbreak in Samoa started by shedding from vaccines sent by UNICEF in early October?
Wait, why did UNICEF start sending measles vaccines to Samoa in October?
Yeah, that’s right. The first cases were actually in September, triggered by visitor from New Zealand in August.
Anyway, the strain in Samoa is D8, not A as you would expect if it was a vaccine strain.
And the idea that the outbreak was fabricated by Merck to sell more vaccine?
“This would be news if outbreaks of similar intensity occurred in first world countries, such as the United States or the European Union. But they don’t. Nor do they occur in a similar scale or severity. This means that hygiene, nutrition, refrigeration, and potable water—items many in the modern world take for granted—are the real delta between measles deaths in the Third World versus mild measles cases in the first, which come and go, and rarely result in fatalities.”
Vaccination rates went down, the people in Samoa got caught up in the rise in measles cases and outbreaks happening all over the world, and they soon had a measles epidemic on their hands, with lots of kids dying.
Unfortunately, anti-vaccine folks continue to exploit the tragedy, trying to make it sound like vaccines actually caused the epidemic.
“The Samoa Measles Appeal is being launched by the Government of Samoa to receive financial assistance from partners to support national efforts to contain the outbreak, to effectively treat people who contracted measles, and to achieve herd immunity for long term protection of the population.”
National Measles Response and Recovery Appeal
They are even making up conspiracy theories about the money the Government of Samoa is requesting to help control the epidemic and prevent future outbreaks.
The Timeline of the Measles Epidemic in Samoa
Maybe what is happening in Samoa isn’t so easy to understand…
Let’s give it a try!
To truly understand what is happening in Samoa, you have to go back a little further than when the epidemic started.
In fact, we have to go all of the way back to July 2018, when two young children died very shortly after getting their routine MMR vaccines. Although they died because of a mixup between the vaccine diluent and a powerful anesthetic, the tragic deaths led to the suspension of all vaccinations in the country.
And while the suspension was eventually reversed, they continued to hold MMR vaccinations for another nine months, until April 15, 2019.
Combine that with the efforts of anti-vax folks and it is easy to see how immunization rates in Samoa eventually tumbled to a low of just 30%!
What happened next?
On October 9, we got the first report of a measles case in Samoa and that it was related to a someone who visited from New Zealand for a conference at the end of August.
But by the time of that first report, at least 86 people had already been tested for suspected measles!
“Of the 28 specimens of suspected measles cases sent to Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory Melbourne, Australia on the 30th Sept 2019, twelve (12) results have been received over the week end. Of these twelve there were four confirmed cases; one adult and three children. All have been treated and discharged with no complications.
On the 2nd of October 2019, we sent another 8 specimens of suspected measles cases. Current results received this afternoon of these eight specimens sent revealed three new confirmed cases. Of these three positive cases, two were children under five years and 1 was an adult of 22 years old. All have been treated and discharged.
A total of seven confirmed cases have been reported to date. In anticipation, we now confirm a Measles Epidemic.”
Ministry of Health Press Release 1 – Measles Epidemic (October 16)
With that many cases already, it should be obvious that the measles outbreak in Samoa started in late September. That explains why UNICEF had begun to send measles vaccines and vitamin A to Samoa in early October.
And that should put to rest the myth that this is some kind of unnatural, vaccine induced outbreak that got started because of the UNICEF vaccines.
“The deceased child of one year two months was admitted on the 8th October 2019 with a history of febrile convulsions, cough and skin rash typical of measles associated with severe dehydration. Verification of immunization status for this child revealed that he has not been vaccinated against measles.”
Ministry of Health Press Release 1 – Measles Epidemic
Tragically, we very soon saw the first measles death (October 15) in Samoa, an unvaccinated toddler. With continued cases, they soon declared a measles epidemic on October 16.
With continued cases and deaths, the Government of Samoa closed all preschools and daycare centers on October 31.
On November 8, they lowered the age to get the first dose MMR in Samoa to 6 months.
It wasn’t long before the Government of Samoa declared a full fledged state of emergency (November 15), closing schools, restricting children from gathering in public, and making vaccination mandatory.
“The outbreaks in Samoa and Tonga are caused by the D8 strain (genotype) of measles virus. Measles vaccine coverage varies in Pacific island countries and areas, ranging from 31% in Samoa to 99% in the Cook Islands, Nauru and Niue.”
Measles Outbreak in the Pacific – Situation Report No 1, 22 November, 2019
It was at this time that more help came from New Zealand, 12 nurses to help administer vaccines. Australia also soon sent a team of 34 doctors and nurses to help at Samoa’s main hospital in the capital Apia.
“Samoa’s government is warning anyone trying to discourage people from getting measles vaccinations to stop it.”
Measles Update: Samoa warns against anti-vaxxers; issues new emergency orders
And now, although there have been some roadblocks put up by anti-vaxxers both in and out of Samoa, with lots of help, they are hopefully getting their epidemic under control.
“As of December 6th, 2019, approximately 89% of all eligible people in Samoa have been vaccinated against measles.”
National Emergency Operation Centre: Update on the measles outbreak (Press Release 21) December 7, 2019
In fact, many people were vaccinated when the Government of Samoa shut down on December 5th and 6th.
“On 03/12, the Government announced that a nationwide mass vaccination will take place on Thursday and Friday (05 + 06/12) and all public services (excluding power and water, police, and health services) as well as the private sector (with few exceptions) will be shut down from 7 am – 5 pm to enforce the mass vaccination programme. Citizens were asked to stay at their residences and await the visit of mobile vaccination teams. There are 128 teams carrying out the mass vaccination campaign during this period.”
National Measles Response and Recovery Appeal, 6 December 2019
During the door to door mass vaccination campaign, families were told to stay home and hang red flags outside their homes if they needed to be vaccinated.
Amazingly, with all of the cases and deaths, some folks resisted and didn’t want to be vaccinated and protected.
“We got a lot of microbiology. We learned about diseases. We learned that vaccines were the solution to those diseases what they say are “vaccine preventable,” that’s the term that they used in my world, but what’s in the vaccines, I don’t really remember really learning anything.”
“During your training in the hospital, you get everything else except vaccines. You learn about all of the rare things. All of the super rare disorders that you may never see in the office. That’s what we spend the time learning and and and almost nothing about vaccination.”
Is anyone surprised that Suzanne Humphries, Joseph Mercola, and these other folks didn’t learn anything about vaccines during their training?
“Don’t buy into the lore, don’t make assumptions, and understand that the philosophical underpinnings of the vaccination program are predicated on an antiquated perspective: warring against and attempting to eradicate bad germs. Science has left that childlike notion in the dust, and so should we.”
Do you think that Kelly Brogan, a holistic psychiatrist, learned much about vaccines at NYU? Anything about science???
“Robert Sears became interested in vaccines as a medical student after reading “DPT: A Shot in the Dark,” a 1985 book that argued that the whooping cough vaccine was dangerous. (The makeup of the vaccine has since been changed.) Sears said the book, which helped spark a backlash against vaccines, exposed him to ideas he wasn’t hearing in school.”
Vaccination controversy swirls around O.C.’s ‘Dr. Bob’
Maybe, but as in the case of Dr. Bob, it is important to note that he was influenced by a book that we know to be wrong. Later studies have shown that the original DPT vaccine did not cause any of the serious side effects that were originally blamed on it, including in the anti-vaccine book that got him started.
Sherri Tenpenny wants us to stop calling chickenpox and measles diseases.
She thinks that we should call them infections instead…
Should I Stop Calling Chickenpox and Measles Diseases?
If you are like most people, you are probably thinking to yourself and maybe even shouting at your computer screen right now, “who cares what you call them, just get vaccinated and stop the outbreaks!”
Believe it or not, there is actually some precedent for changing the way we talk about diseases. While you may still refer to them as STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases out of habit, the prefererable term is actually STI, or sexually tranmistted infection.
Of course, this has nothing to do with Tenpenny’s reasoning.
“Why the change? The concept of ‘disease,’ as in STD, suggests a clear medical problem, usually some obvious signs or symptoms. But several of the most common STDs have no signs or symptoms in the majority of persons infected. Or they have mild signs and symptoms that can be easily overlooked. So the sexually transmitted virus or bacteria can be described as creating ‘infection,’ which may or may not result in ‘disease.’ This is true of chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV), to name a few.
For this reason, for some professionals and organizations the term ‘disease’ is being replaced by ‘infection.'”
ASHA on STDs/STIs
In fact, their definitions sound nothing like Tenpennys…
Unfortunately, many STIs, even if they aren’t causing symptoms and disease, can still be contagious.
Measles and chickenpox don’t do that. Although you can be contagious just before you start to have symptoms, you will very quickly develop symptoms.
It is true that some viruses and bacteria can lead to subclinical infections, in which you develop immunity without ever developing symptoms, but that doesn’t usually happen with measles and chicken pox.
Polio is one of the best examples of when it does happen. Remember, nearly 75% of kids who got polio never had any symptoms. Tragically, those symptoms could be severe in the small percentage who did.