Believe it or not, some folks are still pushing misinformation to scare people away from getting vaccinated and protected against measles.
Ironically, this guy talks about propaganda, manipulating parents, and media lies without saying anything that is truthful.
As I’m sure you are aware, the Disney measles outbreak was not caused by a vaccine strain.
The outbreak strain during the Disney outbreak was B3, which can be traced to outbreaks in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Neither the Disneyland outbreak nor any outbreak has been caused by a vaccine strain of measles.
What about the idea that measles is now harmless???
Or that measles isn’t deadly is a developed country with a well-nourished population???
Why have so many people died with measles in Europe recently if it is so harmless?
Yes, research it for yourself and you will find the complications of recent measles infections he left out, including the pregnant woman with who had a miscarriage during the 2013 measles outbreak in Brooklyn.
Did New York Declare Medical Martial Law over a Measles Outbreak?
As most folks know, Rockland County Executive Ed Day made an emergency declaration banning unvaccinated kids from public places.
I guess because he was anticipating a freak-out from anti-vaccine folks, he went out of his way to say that the emergency declaration does not mean that law enforcement will be asking for vaccine records and that they are just trying to get the attention of parents, some of whom weren’t cooperating when their kids were sick.
So what was the reaction?
About as you would expect…
Medical martial law? An emergency declaration saying you will get a class B misdemeanor if your unvaccinated kid goes to the mall is the same thing as martial law? Ordinary laws have been suspended and the military is taking over?
If you listened to the press conference, the problem isn’t really that we need new laws, it is that some folks aren’t cooperating with existing ones. Again, in the middle of the longest outbreak in recent history, some parents who have kids sick with measles aren’t talking to health department officials who simply want to control and stop the outbreak.
What else is wrong with the Natural News post?
Of course, it is the stuff about shedding and “improperly weakened viral strains.”
In truth, measles outbreaks are started when unvaccinated folks travel out of the country, get measles, and bring it back to a community with a lot of other unvaccinated people. And tragically, sometimes folks who are too young to be vaccinated or who have true medical contraindications to getting vaccinated get caught up in these outbreaks.
Did they listen to the press conference? When did he say that they would be going door-to-door?
Is it actually legal to tell folks to riot and incite them to open civil disobedience?
Surpriginsly, most went to straight to comments about Hitler and concentration camps.
These are the leaders and heroes of the anti-vaccine movement.
To be clear, rabbis in the community have been telling folks to get vaccinated and protected!
“Whoever isn’t vaccinated is a murderer” reads a rabbinic letter recently signed by leading charedi rabbis in Israel, according to Yeshiva World News. The kol koreh was distributed after a spread of Measles in the ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel and around the world. Earlier this month an unvaccinated infant died, and more than 1300 people have been infected with a preventable disease. The Gedolim who signed the Kol Koreh include: Rav Yitzchak Silberstein, Rav Shimon Ba’adani, Rav Sriel Rosenberg, Rav Moshe Shaul Klein Rav Menachem Mendel Lubin.
As Measles Spread, Leading Charedi Rabbis Come Out Strongly Against Anti-Vaxxers
I wonder what the people in these communities would think of all of this holocaust imagery that anti-vaccine folks are using to try and keep the outbreaks going?
For one thing, you have to confirm that everyone with measles symptoms actually has measles. If you miss anyone, because measles is so contagious, then they could expose other people and the outbreak will keep getting bigger.
How do they confirm who has measles and who doesn’t?
While you could just make a clinical diagnosis, simply relying on the person’s history and pattern of symptoms, typically everyone just gets tested.
About Those Vaccine Strains in Measles Outbreaks…
What kind of testing?
“Laboratory confirmation is essential for all sporadic measles cases and all outbreaks. Detection of measles-specific IgM antibody and measles RNA by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are the most common methods for confirming measles infection. Healthcare providers should obtain both a serum sample and a throat swab (or nasopharyngeal swab) from patients suspected to have measles at first contact with them. Urine samples may also contain virus, and when feasible to do so, collecting both respiratory and urine samples can increase the likelihood of detecting measles virus.”
It depends, but often a throat swab or a throat swab and urine are collected for PCR testing, especially if it has been 7 or fewer days since the patient came down with their rash.
If it has been longer than 7 days, then testing using urine and blood specimens can be performed.
“Molecular analysis can also be conducted to determine the genotype of the measles virus. Genotyping is used to map the transmission pathways of measles viruses. The genetic data can help to link or unlink cases and can suggest a source for imported cases. Genotyping is the only way to distinguish between wild-type measles virus infection and a rash caused by a recent measles vaccination.”
Measles For Healthcare Professionals
Because many people get vaccinated during an outbreak and a rash and fever is a side effect of the MMR vaccine, testing becomes very important in those who were recently vaccinated.
After getting vaccinated, testing helps confirm that someone has vaccine strain measles and not wild type, a vaccine reaction, and don’t actually have measles.
“Here, we describe a real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) method that detects the vaccine genotype (MeVA RT-quantitative PCR [RT-qPCR]) and that can provide rapid discrimination between wild-type-virus infections and vaccine reactions.”
Roy et al on Rapid Identification of Measles Virus Vaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR
“During outbreaks, measles vaccine is administered to help control the outbreak, and in these situations, vaccine reactions may be mistakenly classified as measles cases.”
CDC on Genetic Analysis of Measles Viruses
So the reports that you might have seen that 31 people in the California measles outbreak had a vaccine strain of measles aren’t true. There were at least 31 people who were recently vaccinated during the outbreak and had a rash and/or fever, and they tested positive for the vaccine strain, proving that they weren’t actually part of the outbreak. None of them actually had measles though.
Has anyone ever gotten the measles after being vaccinated?
“Vaccine‐associated measles is a possible, but extremely rare event.”
Sood et al on Vaccine‐associated measles in an immunocompetent child
“…California patients were genotyped; all were measles genotype B3, which has caused a large outbreak recently in the Philippines…”
Measles Outbreak — California, Dec 2014–Feb 2015
It wasn’t a vaccine strain.
For example, during 2011, 222 cases of measles and 17 outbreaks were reported in the United States, with most cases originating from just five countries (France, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Germany). Six different genotypes were identified, including B3, D4, G3, D8, H1, and D9. No vaccine strains…
And no, it doesn’t matter that the vaccine strain of measles, genotype A, differs from all of the wild strains of measles we see in the outbreaks.
“Vaccine induced immunity protects against all virus strains. Measles is considered a monotypic virus despite the genetic variations.”
Factsheet about measles
Unlike the flu, HPV, and pneumococcal bacteria, in which vaccines only protect against different serotypes, in the case of measles, the genotype simply helps us figure out where the measles case came from.
But if it isn’t the vaccine strain, then why do they that is it important to rapidly identify wild strains vs vaccine strains?
“During measles outbreaks, it is important to be able to rapidly distinguish between measles cases and vaccine reactions to avoid unnecessary outbreak response measures such as case isolation and contact investigations.”
Roy et al on Rapid Identification of Measles Virus Vaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR
That’s easy to answer.
Outbreaks typically trigger a lot of folks to get vaccinated. While that’s great, one possible problem is that some of those folks might develop a fever and/or rash after their MMR vaccine. So it is important to quickly figure out whether they are part of the outbreak and have a wild strain (maybe they were exposed before their vaccine could start to work) or are having a common, mild vaccine reaction.
But couldn’t they have vaccine-associated measles if they have a rash and fever and a vaccine strain? Theoretically, but then they would likely have true measles symptoms. And even in these rare case reports, the children didn’t spread the measles to anyone else.
So why are you waiting to know the genotype of the measles strain causing the outbreak in your area? Hopefully, it isn’t to help you decide whether or not to vaccinate and protect your kids. While it is interesting to know where the outbreak originated, you can bet that it isn’t a vaccine strain.
While we see flu activity at epidemic levels every year, some years are clearly much worse than others.
And while the severity of a flu season is easy to see after it is over, many of us could use a little help making sense of things when we are still in the middle of it.
Geographic Spread of Influenza Viruses – when you hear that there is widespread flu activity in a lot of states, this is what they are talking about. The only problem is that this doesn’t really tell you anything about the severity of a flu season. We get widespread flu activity in all states, or almost all states, each and every year as flu season peaks.
ILI Activity Indicator Map – like the maps showing the geographic spread of the flu, the ILI activity indicator map can help you tell where flu is spreading, but since it doesn’t necessarily represent the whole state, it can be misleading.
Influenza-like Illness Surveillance – the proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI), or basically, how many people are going to the doctor with flu symptoms. Once we get above the national baseline of 2.2%, we know that flu season is starting in an area. How high can ILI get? Recently, it has peaked between 3.6% (2015-2016) and 7.5% (2017-2018). But that’s nationally. Because of wide variability in regional level data, you might see much higher ILI numbers in your state. For example, the regional baseline in Texas is 4%, while it is just 1.1% in Idaho. Still, widespread flu activity with a high ILI likely means a bad flu season.
Flu-Associated Hospitalizations – laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations. Overall, as flu season peaks, this can range from 4 to 5 per 100,000 population in a typical flu season, to 9 or 10 in a more severe flu season. This is also reported by age group. During a bad flu season, flu-associated hospitalizations will be high.
Mortality Surveillance – the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza. At some point in flu season, we get above an epidemic threshold and more people die with the flu, especially during a bad flu season.
Pediatric Deaths – pediatric influenza-associated deaths have been a nationally notifiable condition since the 2004 flu season and since then, on average, about 118 kids die with the flu each year. Last season was especially bad, with 185 pediatric flu deaths.
So how do you really know if it is a bad flu season?
Look for a high ILI%, high flu-associated hospitalizations, which will almost certainly be followed by a high mortality surveillance.
You also want to check viral surveillance data. Are the majority of influenza viruses being tested antigenically and genetically similar to the cell-grown reference viruses representing the 2018–2019 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine viruses? If not, that could mean a vaccine strain mismatch and a worse flu season.
And don’t be surprised by reports of widespread flu activity or rising ILI. That’s just flu season.